NBCNEWS.COM - Anyone thinking Republicans might be ready to accept extending the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 now, think again.
House Speaker John Boehner (R), the man at the center of negotiations with President Obama, rejected Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole's suggestion to pass an extension of tax cuts for 98 percent of people, declare victory, and go home.
"I told Tom earlier at our conference meeting that I disagreed with him," Boehner said at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday morning. "He's a wonderful friend of mine and a great supporter of mine. In my view, raising taxes on the so-called top 2 percent, half of those taxpayers are small-business owners that pay their taxes through their personal income filing every year. The goal here is to grow the economy and control spending; you're not going to grow the economy if you raise the top 2 percent rates. It'll hurt small businesses, and it'll hurt our economy, why this is not the right approach. We're willing to put revenue on the table as long as we are not raising rates."
Cole (R-OK) on Wednesday reiterated his call for Congress to pass an extension of the Bush tax rates for those making less than $250,000 first and then work on the extension for higher-earners later, a major break from the Republican's strategy in fiscal-cliff negotiations.