Monday, 7 January 2013

McConnell rules out raising taxes, points to spending 'addiction'

As the debt ceiling debate heats up, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said additional tax hikes are out of the question, and the most important issue the country faces is spending.

By Reuters / January 6, 2013

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., followed by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., during 'fiscal cliff' negotiations at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 30. As talks turn to the debt ceiling, McConnell indicated Sunday, Republican lawmakers would not consider additional taxes.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


Senate?Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday ruled out raising tax revenues on top of the tax hike on the wealthy in the "fiscal cliff" deal, and said the full focus must now be on spending cuts to curb U.S. deficits.

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"The tax issue is finished, over, completed," the?Kentucky?Republican said on ABC's "This Week."

"That's behind us. Now the question is what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future, and that's our spending addiction."

McConnell used the Sunday morning news shows to lay out his position in the upcoming fight over raising the U.S. debt ceiling and funding the government that is expected to come to a head in March, just three months after the struggle to avert the Jan. 1 fiscal cliff of severe tax hikes and spending cuts that economists said could have brought a recession.

Republicans want big spending cuts in programs including?Medicare?healthcare for the elderly and the Social Security pension program as a condition for raising the U.S. borrowing limit. President?Barack Obama?has said he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling, arguing thatCongress?must pay the bills for spending it approved.

McConnell said the?White House?should start working with?Congress?immediately to determine spending, before the March deadline to raise the federal borrowing limit brings another fiscal crisis.

"We could do things very quickly, these are not new issues," he said on ABC.


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