House Republican Tom Cole wants to make a deal with President Obama.
The Oklahoma lawmaker is garnering attention for urging his fellow GOPers to allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire on Dec. 31. He’s arguing the move would allow Congress to avoid the looming fiscal cliff and that the debate over tax cuts for the wealthy can happen at a later date.
President Obama explicitly favors raising taxes on the top 2% of America’s top earners. But as Cole notes, the president wants to extend the tax cut for 98% of Americans .
“That is a point we should agree on, do that, and continue to fight for the things we believe in,” said Cole on Wednesday’s Hardball. “Simply because we accept that part of his offer doesn’t mean we have to agree with the rest. What I think a lot of people forget is these tax cuts are going to go up automatically, and unless Congress acts, I favor acting to save as many of them as possible.”
House Speaker John Boehner was not pleased, telling reporters earlier in the day that he told Cole “I disagreed with him….This is not the right approach.”
MSNBC host Chris Matthews weighed in, saying the “Speaker seems to be saying, don’t separate the two issues because politically we’ll never be able to save the rich unless we couple them with the regular people.”
Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer applauded Cole’s proposal on Hardball. Cole, the California lawmaker said, “had a lot of courage and I hope other will follow his lead.”