Top Republican: Fiscal commission putting tax hikes ‘on the table’


A Republican senator on the president’s fiscal commission said Thursday it will likely recommend tax increases as part of a solution for the nation’s fiscal woes.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said on ABC’s “Top Line” webcast that he believes the large majority of the proposal should be composed of spending cuts, but said that the panel should not rule out tax increases to bring in more revenue. 

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”Well everything has to be on the table, there is no question about that,” he said. ”I think it’s likely there is going to be a revenue component.”

Gregg’s comments come as outside groups from both sides are applying pressure on the bipartisan commission, which is considering both tax increases and spending cuts to stem the growth of the $13 trillion national debt. 

President Obama has asked the 18-member panel to come up with a plan by the beginning of December. Congressional leaders have pledged to hold floor votes on the commission’s recommendations; in order for a proposal to clear the panel, 14 members must vote for it, ensuring that it has bipartisan support. 

The retiring New Hampshire senator said that, while tax hikes are likely to be part of the plan, they should be “dramatically” less than spending cuts. Gregg said that spending has risen too rapidly during the Obama administration. 

This month, Gregg said that all of the Bush tax cuts should be extended when they expire at the end of the year, saying that it will help stimulate the economy. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday she has no appetite for renewing the cuts for households making more than $250,000 per year.