Delaware Dem Coons open to extending all Bush tax cuts

WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware's Democratic Senate nominee, Chris Coons, said Thursday he would be open to extending the soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts across the board during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress.

Coons told The Hill on Thursday he would support extending all of the cuts, "only if we're able to reach a bipartisan agreement that also extends other tax cuts that are critical to getting our economy going again."

The Democrat mentioned the research-and-development tax credit along with "tax credits that help trade" and "helping families afford college." 

Coons's comments mark a break from his previous position of backing an extension of the cuts for families earning up to $250,000. That position was in line with the White House stance and with the man who headlined a fundraiser for him Thursday — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). 

Coons first articulated his shift on the cuts earlier Thursday in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

Should Coons defeat Republican Christine O'Donnell next month, he will be sworn in immediately to fill the seat of interim Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), who was appointed to replace Vice President Joe Biden. The question of extending the Bush tax cuts will come up during that post-election session.

An earlier whip count by The Hill found eight Democratic senators in favor of an across-the-board extension of the tax cuts.