WASHINGTON — Capitol Hill Republicans say the GOP members of a deficit-reduction supercommittee are showing flexibility on revenue increases as the panel heads closer to its Thanksgiving deadline.
GOP aides said yesterday that a plan floated by Republicans, including Tea Party movement favorite Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, would sharply limit the total amount of tax deductions and credits a person could claim, in exchange for significantly lower income tax rates. At the same time, Republicans are willing to accept about $300 billion in net increases in income tax revenues.
The idea, discussed by a bipartisan subgroup of supercommittee lawmakers Monday evening, is similar in concept to a proposal put forward last summer in negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and President Obama. Boehner and Obama discussed a complete overhaul of the tax code that would have garnered some $800 billion in new revenue over a decade.
The plan proposed Monday was more modest, congressional aides said, raising about $250 billion from individual tax reform and another $40 billion from using a new inflation adjustment when updating the income levels for tax brackets. An overhaul of the corporate tax code could raise another $60 billion, the aides said.
The plan also would include about $700 billion in spending cuts, as well as revenues from proposals such as auctioning broadcast spectrum, raising Medicare premiums, and increasing aviation security fees.
Aides to supercommittee Democrats pushed back sharply, saying the GOP plan for a top individual tax rate of 28 percent would give wealthier earners large tax cuts while many middle income taxpayers would lose tax deductions important to them. The GOP assumes that the full menu of Bush-era tax cuts - including a generous cut in the estate tax enacted last year — would be made permanent.
“We’ve made a little bit of progress but it’s not enough, in our judgment,’’ said Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts and a member of the deficit panel. “We have some distance to go.’’
Obama’s chief of staff will share duties with aide
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s chief of staff is handing over some of his day-to-day management duties in the West Wing.
A senior administration official said yesterday that Bill Daley, chief of staff, has asked presidential counselor Pete Rouse to take on an expanded coordination and operational role in dealing with White House staff. The shift is part of Daley’s efforts to make the West Wing run more efficiently, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Christie to campaign for Romney today in N.H.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will stump for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire today.
According to the Romney campaign, Christie will stop by Romney’s campaign headquarters in Manchester at 5 p.m. for a rally with volunteers. He will then attend a house party with supporters at the Nashua home of John Stabile, a former state senator and state Republican Party chairman. Stabile, who will endorse Romney, is founder of The Stabile Companies, which do construction and real estate development and management.
After his New Hampshire stops, Christie will travel to Boston to participate in a debate viewing party at Romney’s Boston campaign headquarters.