House Republicans have stood firm on their opposition to President Barack Obama’s proposed tax hikes, which would come at a time when the economy is growing at an anemic pace. Back in August, the House passed a one-year extension of all current tax rates, hoping that Obama and Senate Democrats would come to their senses, reach a compromise with Republicans and avoid the economic troubles raising taxes would bring in these tough economic times.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. What’s worse was a Washington Post report from September noting House Republicans were preparing to retreat on taxes should President Barack Obama win re-election.
While Republicans are still urging Obama to compromise since raising taxes would hamper an already tepid economic recovery — if not make it worse, House Speaker John Boehner said yesterday that he expects some sort of a deal to be reached during lame-duck session, which will be defined by the outcome of the election:
House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t expect a grand bargain avoiding the fiscal cliff to materialize in a lame duck session of Congress, but that doesn’t mean the country is headed over the edge. Instead, Boehner said Sunday, he thinks Congress and the White House will find a way to punt the looming deadlines on the debt ceiling, the Bush tax cuts and the budget sequester into 2013.
“Lame ducks aren’t noted for doing big things. And frankly I’m not sure that lame ducks should do big things. So the most likely outcome would be some type of a bridge,” Boehner said in an interview with National Journal Sunday, aboard a campaign bus taking him around Ohio in a final sprint before Election Day. “But the impact of the election is certainly going to have an impact on how this plays out.”
“Fixing the tax code has to happen. Solving our debt crisis and our entitlement crisis, that has to happen. I would argue that fixing our regulatory environment in America has to happen. But I frankly believe all these things are going to happen regardless of who wins the election. The outcome of the election will have a big impact on what those fixes look like,” he added.
According to Bob Woodward’s recent book, which documented last year’s debt ceiling fight, Boehner was willing to raise taxes by $800 billion to appease the White House. This should be troubling for conservatives and libertarians. What Boehner said could reaffirm House Republicans, or at least enough of them, will go along with Obama’s plan to raise taxes, assuming he wins a second term tonight.