“Trying to do that in this context then raises the question: Are you trying to raise revenues, or are you trying to get a more coherent tax code?” Kyl said. “If you’re trying to do the latter, it’s probably not best done in this context, and you’re probably not going to be able to do the number or the magnitude of things that are really necessary to really make a difference in the tax code. If you’re trying to do it to raise revenue, then obviously, that’s something that’s not going to pass.”
Cantor also said Wednesday that he would endorse a pledge gaining traction among some conservatives to oppose any increase in the debt ceiling without the substantial spending cuts and passage of a balanced-budget amendment.
July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Purves, chief market strategist and head of derivatives research at BGC Financial LP, talks about U.S. fiscal policy and the debt ceiling.
“I don’t want to sign a pledge that conditions my vote on what the Democrats may or may not do,” Cantor said.
Cantor’s remarks come a day after Obama invited congressional leaders to meet at the White House on Thursday to try to break the impasse over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. And earlier at the Capitol on Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans continued to spar over one of the most contentious issues in the talks: whether to raise taxes.
“The Republican Party has been taken over by ideologues either devoted to or terrified by Grover Norquist and his no-tax pledge,” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday morning in remarks on the Senate floor, referring to the president of the anti-tax advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform. “These Republicans refuse to believe the countless respected voices that have said over and over how serious a crisis we face if we fail to avoid default.”
House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D- Md.) echoed Reid, seizing on previous criticism of Norquist by former senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) to make the case that Republicans must be willing to put tax increases on the table.
“Senator Voinovich said that the pledge that so many Republicans, almost every Republican, have taken expressing fealty to Mr. Norquist’s premise was inconsistent with their oath to the Constitution to preserve and protect the welfare and the security of the United States of America,” Hoyer told reporters at his weekly roundtable. “I believe that Senator Voinovich was correct.”
Republican leaders fired back with the argument that the insistence by the White House and congressional Democrats that tax increases be part of a “balanced” deal contradicts Obama’s agreement late last year to extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
“Just this last December the president acknowledged that preventing a tax hike meant more resources were available for job creators to add employees,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Does the president now think the economy is doing so well, that unemployment is so low and economic growth so rapid that we can take billions of dollars away from these very same job creators?”
McConnell said that Democrats and the White House were the ones who were “ludicrous” for proposing hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue increases “at a time when 14 million Americans are looking for work and job creators are struggling.”