Are Republicans starting to see some wiggle room on a vote over the Bush-era tax cuts? Sen. John Cornyn suggested as much in an interview this morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” by noting he’d back something that “temporarily” extended the tax cuts.
Cornyn (R-TX) said he wouldn’t go with the Democrats’ plan to extend the tax cuts for only the middle class – a cut on the first $250,000 of every taxpayer’s income – because he views letting the ones for the wealthy to expire as a tax increase.“My position is we need to maintain current tax rates as long as possible, and that’s going to take 60 votes,” Cornyn said. “I understand that neither party can do it alone, and I hope that we stave off those tax increases. My preference would be permanently, but if we can only do it temporarily, then, you know, I’m for doing whatever will keep the economy moving and put people back to work.”
The Republican bill introduced this week by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls for a permanent extension of all the Bush tax cuts. McConnell (R-KY) says he has his caucus on board with that plan, but as TPM detailed earlier this week, Republicans haven’t been willing to go so far as to say they would filibuster anything short of the permanent extension, suggesting there’s some flexibility in their position.
This is going to be a key point to watch as President Obama continues to take to the hustings to ask for a vote on the middle class tax cuts before the election. Remember, the Bush tax cuts were written by the GOP to expire. If Congress doesn’t take action before New Year’s Eve, tax rates will go up for everyone on Jan. 1.