Yesterday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “opened the door to a compromise” on the Bush-era tax cuts on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, saying “if the only option I have is to vote for some” tax reductions for families earning less than $250,000, “I’ll vote for them.” But this afternoon, during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show to promote his new book ‘Young Guns‘, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) backed away from Boehner’s concession, insisting that Republicans should not water down their commitments to extending tax cuts for the richest Americans:
HANNITY: [Boehner] said he would vote for extending tax cuts of middle class earners even though it was bad policy to exclude the highest earning Americans, which they pay the greater percentage of income taxes. So I ask you, in that sense, is it wrong to say that you’d even consider you know, not a full complete extension of the Bush tax cuts?
RYAN: No, we are for a full, complete extension of the Bush tax cuts. We do not want to negotiate down. We want to extend all of these things…We should not begin negotiating that down, we should be insisting on preventing this huge tax increase on the most successful small businesses, which is where most of our jobs come from.
In fact, a growing number of Republicans are now distancing themselves from Boehner’s remarks. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), announced today that “he will introduce legislation that would ensure that no one pays higher income taxes next year.” Similarly, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) said through a spokesperson that “there should be no tax increase on any job creator next year.”
Earlier in the program, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) — who issued a harsh statement earlier in the day — also seemed to disagree with Boehner’s approach. “John Boehner is a small business person,” he said. “He knows what tax hikes mean to a small business, especially in a recession and I know that all of us are going to work and do everything we can to make sure that we do not allow tax hikes to occur this year.”
Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.