Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) urged fellow House Republicans Tuesday to join President Obama and pass an extension of the Bush tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000 immediately, Politico reports.
At a meeting of the House GOP whip team earlier in the day, he made the case that Republicans would strengthen their position by joining hands with President Barack Obama now to give most taxpayers what he calls “an early Christmas present” of ensuring their taxes don’t go up on Jan. 1…
“I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now,” he said of freezing income tax rates for all but the top 2 percent of earners. “It doesn’t mean I agree with raising the top 2. I don’t.”
Cole said Republicans could still push for extending rates for top earners after passing the extension for everyone else. Cole said that passing an extension for most Americans now would take away Democrats' argument that Republicans are holding up tax cuts for everyone but top earners. “Some people think that’s our leverage in the debate. It’s the Democrats’ leverage in the debate,” he said.
Cole added that he doesn't see this tactic as a violation of Grover Norquist's tax pledge.
President Obama is will renew his push for an extension of the middle class tax cuts Wednesday.