Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) says he would rather see tax rates go up than raise revenue via loopholes now because that would leave more room for tax reform in the future.
"I know we have to raise revenue," he said Wednesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I don't really care which way we do it. I would rather see the rates go up than do it the other way because it gives us greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future."
Coburn has been vocal about the need to raise tax revenues, but endorsing a rate hike rather than increased revenues by closing tax deductions is an extraordinarily rare position for a Republican to take.
Though he deems it necessary to bridge the budget deficit, Coburn made clear he doesn't think raising tax revenues will help the economy.
"But to me, I think they're arguing over semantics," he said. "$800 billion is $800 billion. It's still going to be a negative drag on the economy."