Top Republicans Pour Cold Water On Obama’s Last-Ditch Stimulus Plan

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Two leading Republicans say they do not support President Obama’s plan to broaden, deepen, and extend a payroll tax cut to stimulate the economy in the short-term.

In a briefing with reporters in the Capitol Tuesday, the House and Senate GOP conference chairs said they’re through with short-term stimulus measures, even if they take the form of tax cuts.

“Well they’ve tried this once, and it hasn’t seemed to be working,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

His Senate counterpart, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) echoed this view.“We don’t need short-term gestures, we need long-term strategies that build into our system simpler taxes, lower taxes, fewer mandates, lower costs, more certainty, any changes in the debt structure of tax reform ought to come out of the Vice President’s talks or part of a major tax reform,” Alexander said. “If short-term government programs work, we wouldn’t have 9% unemployment today because the government has tried it. So we’ve proved that doesn’t work, unforutnately.”

That bodes poorly for Democrats, who are negotiating a broad package of long-term spending cuts and an increase in the national debt limit with the GOP. As part of that plan, Obama and his advisers want to include one more short term injection of demand into the economy. Republicans seem uninterested.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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