Four House Republicans Soften Stances on No New Taxes

The town hall comments come after new revenue was blocked from the debt deal

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Counter to more than six months of House Republicans insisting that they would not raise taxes ever, four House Republicans indicated they might be willing to accept tax hikes to help reduce the deficit Tuesday night. At at town hall in Virginia Tuesday night, The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer reports that three of the four men floated specific tax increases they would consider. The congressmen were responding to audience questions about the bipartisan congressional "super committee"--created by the debt ceiling compromise--which is tasked with coming up with a way to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion in order to raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion.

The maybe-tax-revenue-raisers were Virginia's Scott Rigell, a freshman*, Indiana's Larry Bucshon, another freshman, Georgia's Phil Gingrey, and Tennessee's Phil Roe. Gingrey and Roe are members of the Tea Party Caucus; all four are members of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

The possible revenue raisers:
  • Rigell: Cutting subsidies to oil companies.
  • Gingrey: Letting the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $700,000 a year expire.
  • Roe: Closing loopholes. Roe cited General Electric, which paid no taxes in 2010, saying "GE ought to pay some taxes."

Correction: This post originally said Rigell was at Speaker John Boehner's pizza party for House freshmen, in which he tried to convince them of the merits of a debt limit compromise. He was not there.

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