Senator Schumer 'very heartened' by Boehner's 'fiscal cliff' speech
Sen. Charles Schumer, a key Democratic strategist, saw positive signs in House Speaker John Boehner's comments that he would consider closing tax loopholes to raise new revenue.
Michael Bonfigli/Christian Science Monitor
New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a key political strategist for his party, says he was â€śvery heartenedâ€ť by the tone of House Speaker John Boehnerâ€™s remarks Wednesday indicating he could accept a budget deal that included new federal revenue if it were linked to tax reform.
â€śI was heartened, very heartened, by the tone that Speaker Boehner showed yesterday in his remarks,â€ť Senator Schumer said Thursday at a breakfast for reporters hosted by the Monitor. â€śHe basically said that the president won the election and he should lead. He basically said he was open to revenues, which many in his own party disagree with.â€ť
Boehnerâ€™s remarks focused on ways to avoid the so called â€śfiscal cliff.â€ť It is a $700 billion combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts slated to take effect at the start of 2013.
While saying Boehnerâ€™s remarks make "me very hopeful that we can do something big in the next month and a half,â€ť to deal with the fiscal cliff, Schumer was also quick to highlight areas of disagreement with the speakerâ€™s comments.
â€śWhen you unpack the speakerâ€™s speech, there is a premise that doesnâ€™t quite work,â€ť Schumer said. Boehner called for additional revenue â€śas the byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all.â€ť The process of figuring out how much new revenue lower tax rates would produce is called dynamic scoring. It is a process opposed by Democrats and not utilized by the Congressional Budget Office. Â Â
Schumer, vice chair of the Democratic Conference and chair of the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center, called the idea that tax cuts lead to revenue growth â€śa Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. You may remember Rumpelstiltskin was the fairy tale figure who turned straw into gold.â€ť
The New York senator said he hoped business executives would speak out more forcefully for action on the nationâ€™s fiscal problems. â€śI am hopeful that with the business communityâ€™s help and with the presidentâ€™s leadership, we can bring Republicans around. Because I think, in his heart, Speaker Boehner wants to get something done,â€ť Schumer said.
The process will take time, he said, adding, "You canâ€™t expect the speaker to turn on a time in 24 hours and embrace everything, higher taxes, higher taxes on the wealthy. But I think that privately heâ€™s seen the handwriting on the wall, and it makes me very hopeful we can do something big in the next month and a half.â€ť