The Washington Post

Fiscal cliff: Tax reform cannot be “backdoor” for GOP to “sneak” through cuts for the rich, says Murray

Speaking to an audience at the Brookings Institution, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) argued that extending the Bush era tax cuts for the rich is a non-starter for tax reform as Congress and President Obama come closer to the fiscal cliff — a confluence of tax provisions set to expire, sequestration and the rapid approach of reaching the debt ceiling.

“There’s absolutely no reason — not one — that we need to extend the tax cuts for the rich as a precondition for reforming the tax code,” said Murray, a member of the Senate Budget Committee and former chair of the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

“And when we do get to work on this, Republicans are going to have to accept that tax reform is not going to be a backdoor way for them to sneak through more tax cuts for the rich and it’s going to have to raise revenue to help reign in the deficit,” she said in the speech on Monday.

‘[Republicans] want all the deficit reduction without any of the bipartisan compromise of shared sacrifice,” Murray said.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, not mitigating the circumstances associated with the fiscal cliff could return the U.S. economy to a recession. Democratic leaders, who are willing to go over that cliff, have significant public support.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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