Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK) broke ranks within his party last week, urging GOP members to immediately extend the middle-income Bush tax cuts, those that primarily affect the middle class and give a tax cut to 98 percent of all Americans. “I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now,” Cole said.
Since then, at least four other Republican House members have come out in support of such an idea:
Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL): “Tom Cole is talking about passing the ones that are out there so there could be more certainty, and I think that would be a positive step,” Dold told National Journal. “Let’s make sure we aren’t raising the taxes on the vast majority first.”
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA): “I have to say that if you’re going to sign me up with a camp, I like what Tom Cole has to say,” Bono Mack told CNN. “I know you had him on the show earlier at length. And I think Tom presented a very thoughtful, articulate position.”
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX): Granger told Bloomberg that Cole’s plan is “just the right thing to do.”
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC): According to the Huffington Post, Jones could be “willing to pass the Senate bill to ensure 98 percent of taxpayers don’t get hit with a hike” if no deal can get done.
Despite these indications of support, none of the five Republicans has signed the discharge petition filed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that would force the House to vote on the middle-income tax cut extension. Only Jones has indicated that he may sign the petition at a later date. The petition needs 25 Republican signatures to get the majority it would need to mandate a vote, but if these Republicans are serious about extending tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, instead of holding out for tax cuts for the rich, the petition they haven’t signed gives them that opportunity.