Conference Chairman Mike Pence says Republicans are “united” opposing “any tax increases.” Minority Whip Eric Cantor thinks the midterm elections will be about “not allowing tax hikes to occur.” Rep. Jeb Hensarling says the party is “united” they want “no tax increases on nobody.”
Get the picture? They are all on the same page.
Three days after House Minority Leader John Boehner distinctly told CBS that he would vote for an extension of just the middle class tax cuts were that his “only option,” the Republicans have a message to convey: Total unity.
TPM tried to press Boehner (R-OH) on his remarks, since we know Republicans attempted to do damage control after Sunday’s interview.Here’s the exchange:
REPORTER QUESTION: Do you still stand by what you said Sunday, that if it comes down to it and the upper-income tax cuts expire…
BOEHNER: I said Sunday about five times that I want to extend all of the current tax rates, and that’s what the American people want.
TPM REPORTER QUESTION: But if it’s your only option, as you said Sunday, would you vote for…
BOEHNER: I want to extend all of the current tax rates. I want the speaker to allow a fair and open debate on our two-point plan, because if we extend the current tax rates and we’re able to cut spending, we’ll reduce some of the uncertainty coming out of Washington, D.C., and employers will then have the ability to continue to create jobs in America.
That was it, and the other Republican leaders didn’t chime in. Aides insist everyone is on the same page, and Democrats are still struggling with their own internal battles on what sort of tax cuts vote to hold before the election.
Boehner pushed a new line, his request to Speaker Nancy Pelosi there be an “open and fair debate on the floor of the House” about all of the Bush-era tax cuts, which Republicans wrote to expire to get around the cost they’d add to the deficit.