Breaking with his party, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said Thursday that he supports a bill that extends tax cuts for the middle class.
“As long as we have the right to continue to discuss and debate and fight on other issues, lets do that,” he told Tom Ferraro of Reuters. “Lets take these people out of harm’s way and not worry about it. Lets also send the markets and the rest of the country a sign that, ‘Hey, there are somethings they can work together on, they can put people ahead of political posturing.’ I think it would actually help us in resolving the other issues.”
The Democrat-led Senate has already passed the tax break extension. But House Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner (OH), have said they will not pass any extension of the tax cuts that does not include the wealthiest Americans. Boehner has argued that raising taxes on top earners would hurt job growth.
Cole floated the idea of passing the middle-class tax cut extension weeks ago, but refused to say whether he expected Boehner to back the move. He said he supported the House Speaker regardless.
“I think it strengthens our position,” he added. “But more importantly, I think it is just the right thing to do. I think that it would actually astonish the country. We know we are never going to agree on everything, and the American people have voted for divided government, they ratified that decision in November, they’re the bosses around here, and so I think they basically told us to work together.”
“There are going to be some tough negotiations, but when we have something that we both essentially agree on, that taxes shouldn’t go up for this huge portion, we don’t disagree with that,” Cole continued. “Well then, why don’t we just in good faith embrace that. I don’t see this as a quote, ‘victory for the President.’ I see this as a victory for common sense and honestly I think it would make both sides look better.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Reuters, below: