Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would consider new revenues to offset sequester cuts, breaking from Republican leaders who have taken new taxes off the table.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, McCain took “responsibility” for the GOP’s role in creating the “new cliff” of the sequester, but insisted that Congress must act to prevent cuts to military spending. He admitted that new revenue could be part of the conversation to avoid reductions to defense:
MCCAIN: I don’t want to see taxes increased, but what I would like to see is the president call the leaders over to the White House and say, “Look, we have to solve the problem, the sequestration… We are — Republicans and Democrats are responsible for the new cliff and I’ll take responsibility for it for the Republicans, but we have got to avoid it. We have to stop it.
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): The president says — the price of that is more taxes.
MCCAIN: The President is the same person who during the campaign said it will not happen. remember that? He dismissed it and a lot of us — Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte traveled around the country warning about what will happen as a result of sequestration… The consequences are severe and it requires bipartisanship and, will I look at revenue closers? Maybe so, but we have raised taxes. Why do we have to raise taxes again?
The sequester will have a devastating impact on already underfunded programs like early childhood education, health research, and law enforcement.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) who had agreed to a deal that included $1 trillion in revenue, has portrayed the fiscal cliff deal as “the last word” on taxes, since it included $600 billion in revenue. However, the deficit reduction achieved since 2011 has still overwhelmingly favored spending cuts to tax increases, meaning that any budget deal going forward should include new revenue in order to be truly balanced.