Parties huddle on tax vs. spending cuts strategies
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers for both parties will huddle separately behind closed doors starting on Tuesday, plotting strategy for the fight over how to prevent deep, across-the-board federal spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
That the parties are meeting separately and sometimes far from Washington says much about their mood. About $85 billion in automatic spending cuts could take effect in 24 days as a result of sequester.
As members of Congress head for the congressional retreats — traditionally private sessions that aim to set the agenda and promote party unity — they appear headed on a path for familiar battles.
The automatic cuts are part of the 2011 debt ceiling deal, which mandates the spending reductions unless lawmakers agree otherwise. The thinking had been that they'd reach some sort of compromise because the cuts would be so politically unpalatable.
Congress passed a compromise postponing the cuts until March 1 as part of a deal that raised taxes on the richest 1 percent of Americans. Each side appears stuck in the same themes of the November elections and the New Year's deal that avoided steeper tax hikes on 99 percent of Americans.
Democrats are calling for higher taxes on big corporations and the wealthy to raise revenue and avoid deep cuts that would slow the economy. Republicans insist that the nation needs to cut spending.
On the Senate floor on Monday, Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said, “If you were to listen to the Democrats, you'd think all of our ills could be solved by raising taxes on private jets or energy companies. These aren't real solutions. They're poll-tested gimmicks.”
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., is circulating a memo among colleagues that would seek to raise revenues by closing some tax loopholes for energy companies, going after multinationals that shield their foreign earnings and doing away with a tax break that allows hedge fund owners to skirt paying ordinary income taxes on their income; it permits them to pay the lower rate at which capital gains are taxed.
Business groups don't like being targeted under Levin's plan. “Discriminatory tax increases, that certainly is not the way to solve the problem,” said Dorothy Coleman of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chicago to pay torture victims reparations
- Baltimore mayor asks Justice to look into city’s police conduct
- Domestic terror attacks incited online; threats hard to track
- Fiery derailment in North Dakota first in United States under new rules
- Car-sale slaying in Mo. remains under investigation
- Hostage sought help via her pizza order
- Lawns likely to be victims of California water rules
- 3 accused of posing as Masonic police
- Analysis: Republican budget plan out of line with political reality
- Jeni’s traces listeria sourc to Ohio plant
- Official tells legislators that Clinton erred