by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden has become increasingly vocal about congressional Republicans declining to discuss taxes as part of their debt ceiling negotiations.
But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has declared tax increases a red line, attributing the country’s deficits to overspending and not a lack of revenue, 10 days before a potential default.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern (R-OK), whose group has 176 lawmakers as members, underscored that tax hikes are “a nonstarter” for a bipartisan debt ceiling deal.
“Instead of discussing commonsense reforms to his out-of-control spending, Biden wants to raise taxes on energy producers heading into the hot summer months, worsen the impact of inflation on businesses, and surrender our sovereignty with a deeply flawed global minimum tax that could leave U.S. multinationals at a competitive disadvantage,” Hern told the Washington Examiner.
One senior Republican aide responded to Democratic criticism of the GOP for passing former President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, noting “record-high revenues” after it was enacted.
“It’s a wild strategy to insist on a clean debt limit, refuse to negotiate for months, and then at the last minute ask for something so completely absurd and tone-deaf,” the source said. “The Biden administration is clearly not taking this seriously.”
Biden’s second one-on-one White House meeting with McCarthy over the debt ceiling, their first solo sit-down since February, came after three hours of staff negotiations earlier Monday, in addition to talks last weekend following a “pause” last week amid tensions.
“We need to cut spending, but here’s the disagreement: I think we should be looking at tax loopholes and making sure the wealthy [pay] their fair share,” Biden said beforehand in the Oval Office beside McCarthy. “I think revenue matters, as long as you’re not taxing anybody [who is not making more than] 400,000 bucks.”