GOP Battles Itself Over Taxes

Toomey and Hensarling under fire for tax plan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2011 12:49 PM CST
GOP Battles Itself Over Taxes
In this Nov. 15, photo, Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., rushes through the Capitol to a closed-door meeting with other Republican members of the super committee.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The proposal that super committee Republicans put forth to raise about $300 billion in new tax revenues may not have been enough to win over Democrats, but it’s been more than enough to stir up dissension in the GOP ranks, with anti-tax hardliners suddenly at odds with long-time compatriots Pat Toomey and Jeb Hensarling, the Washington Post reports. Rep. Patrick McHenry, who considers Hensarling his “mentor,” yesterday got 70 House Republicans to sign off on a letter declaring any tax increase “irresponsible and dangerous.”

“We’ve not had a conversation like this within the party in two decades,” McHenry says. The conservative group Americans for Prosperity, meanwhile, has been pressuring the 40 House Republicans who have expressed openness to tax cuts, urging constituents to call them, and purchasing radio ads in five states. But other Republicans are pushing their party to compromise. “This is about more than the money,” said Lamar Alexander. “It’s about whether the president and the Congress can competently govern.” (Meanwhile, the panel's deadline gets closer with no deal in sight, notes the Hill.)

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