Tax cuts, and then more tax cuts. The No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House says the GOP will extend President Bush's tax reductions and then move toward broader across-the-board tax relief if the GOP claims a majority in the November election.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), chairman of the Republican Conference, told CNBC
"the first thing that we will do is try to preserve the tax relief of 2001 and 2003 for all Americans -- for all small businesses and family farmers." Once the Bush tax cuts are safeguarded, Pence said, the new Republican majority would move toward "the kind of tax relief that will encourage capital formation, to get this economy moving again."
First, of course, Pence said his political party needs to stay focused on Election Day, when it must pick up 39 House seats to reverse the Democratic majority. Polls increasingly point toward a big Republican year. But even before a new Congress is sworn in, Pence said Republicans would "continue to demand that this administration and this Congress make it clear that no American will see a tax increase in January."
President Obama has said the Bush-era tax cuts should be preserved for families earning no more than $250,000 annually. Pence, interviewed Wednesday in Cincinnati, belittled the Democrats' "small-ball" approach to tax relief. The other party, he said, is interested only in "boutique tax cuts."
Pence, a lawyer in his fifth term, said Democrats are "getting an earful about this economy" from their constituents.