House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made an apparent pledge to non-cooperation should President Barack Obama be elected in November’s elections.
Throughout the president’s first term in office, Congress’s Republican majority has fought to maintain strict boundaries on tax and budget issues, a policy that Boehner hopes to preserve regardless of who is chosen as president.
During a Friday morning press conference Boehner was asked whether Republicans are “eventually going to have to raise taxes in some way” if Obama won a second term in office.
“No,” Boehner answered. “Raising taxes, according to Ernst and Young, would threaten our economy with a loss of 700,000 jobs. Now why would I ever be for something like that? I’m not.”
Other Republicans have admitted that should Obama win the presidential race, taxes on the wealthy would increase, and tax cuts implemented during the Bush administration on those making over $250,000 per year would most likely expire.
“This is a referendum on taxes. If the president wins reelection, taxes are going up,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla) told the Washington Post. “There’s not a lot we can do about that.”
Boehner’s Ernst and Young statistics come from a pro-business report released in July that is critical of the president’s move for higher taxes. The Obama administration released a statement of its own questioning the legitimacy of the report’s conclusions.
Should this year’s elections end in a split between Republicans and Democrats, cooperation from both sides will be necessary to accomplish anything on either agenda. Preservation of security spending and Medicare reforms remain at the top of the GOP docket, and could be key in political negotiations moving forward.
“[I]f things stay as they are, and all the players are generally the same … finding a responsible reform for Medicare is the secret to unleashing very productive talks that would put in place a balanced solution to our fiscal problems,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said. “If you deal with the Medicare issue, then Republicans are far more open to looking at revenues.”