Republican Unity On “No Tax Increases” Starting To Crack

A not insignificant number of House Republicans are joining with a group of House Democrats to call for a deficit reduction deal that includes spending cuts and tax increases:

Forty House Republicans signaled support for revenue increases, joining 60 Democrats yesterday to urge a congressional supercommittee seeking a $1.5 trillion debt-reduction deal to aim for cuts of $4 trillion.

The letter signed by the 100 lawmakers demonstrates possible Republican support for revenue increases that have been a sticking point for the bipartisan 12-member debt-reduction panel. Democrats have been unwilling to consider cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare without agreement from Republicans to raise more tax revenue.

Any deficit-reduction plan “has to be balanced,” Idaho Republican Representative Mike Simpson said at a news conference, choosing a word often used by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California to describe the kind of deficit- reduction package she and fellow Democrats would favor. Simpson, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, wouldn’t say how much new revenue should be included.

Whether this will amount to something is unclear. The Supercommittee only has until November 23rd to come up with a proposed package for the House and Senate to vote on and there’s still a lot of resistance in the GOP caucuses in both chambers to tax increases. Nonetheless, it is a hopefully sign that the logjam could be broken under the right circumstances.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Taxes, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. TJM says:

    “Revenue increases” could mean anything: significant increase or decrease in tax rates, removal of exemptions or deductions, enhanced enforcement of existing laws, betting on higher economic growth, etc.

  2. Linton says:

    @TJM: True, but increases in tax rates and removal of exemptions or deductions, would be considered tax increases under the terms of Grover Norquist’s tax pledge which has been signed by every Republican in the House except 6 or so.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    40 sane Republicans????? Doug, you are either delusional or the eternal optimist (in which case you are delusional).

    The rug is getting pulled from underneath our feet.