House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) isn’t ruling out supporting a deal to avert the fiscal cliff that increases tax rates on the richest Americans. During an appearance Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Price reiterated the GOP’s opening offer of combining spending cuts with tax reform — closing loopholes and deductions — but in a change of tone for the party, did not directly dismiss President Obama’s proposal of raising taxes on the richest two percent of Americans:
PRICE: There is certainly room for negotiation on a real solution, and a real solution includes both revenue increases and spending reductions….That means broadening the base, limiting the deductions, limiting the credits, and making certain that we identify the appropriate spending reductions so that we have, indeed, a balanced approach.
CANDY CROWLEY (HOST): Okay, but we’re still at the place where everything gets hung up. no increases in tax rates. That is still the position of House Republicans, correct?
PRICE: We would be happy to look at that, if it solved the problem. The problem is it doesn’t solve the problem. We want a real solution, which means increasing tax revenue through pro-growth policies. [...]
CROWLEY: Can I just get sort of directly is that something that you all would do? It sounds to me like your answer is no because you don’t think it will work. Is that a correct translation of what you are saying?
PRICE: Tax increases to chase ever higher spending is a fool’s errand. What we need to do is have that balanced approach that we’ve all been talking about, which, again, is increasing revenues through a process of tax reform, and then spending reductions.
At Friday’s meeting between the White House and Congressional leaders, Democrats said that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) “did not insist that his caucus would reject any rise in the top tax rates, as he has in the past” and Republican on the Hill seem to recognize that a balanced approach would require raising tax rates.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who appeared on CNN alongside Price, agreed that the party is changing its tone. “What I hear is a perceptible change in rhetoric from the other side, and what it is is an invitation for our side to basically sit down and say what can we do for this country,” he said.