Business groups suggest punting debt deal to next Congress

ADVERTISEMENT
While both parties have said that revenues are going to have to play a role in a deficit deal, the Tax Relief Coalition suggested that decisions over how much and where to raise those revenues shouldn’t occur during the remaining weeks of the lame-duck session of Congress.

“Prolonging the political showdown is a risky economic strategy for the country and the TRC strongly urges Congress to set aside partisan differences and act as soon as possible to address the components of this fiscal cliff,” the group wrote.

Negotiations over the scheduled spending cuts and tax increases have moved slowly since voters reelected President Obama and the House GOP kept its majority almost four weeks ago. 

The Obama administration offered Republicans a plan last week that would have raised $1.6 trillion in new revenues, but GOP leaders rejected that proposal. 

Democrats have said that Republicans, having rejected the administration framework, should more clearly lay out how they would restrain entitlements and federal spending.

For his part, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said over the weekend that the GOP was offering $800 billion in fresh revenues, or roughly the same amount that Boehner and Obama discussed in their deficit talks in the summer of 2011.

In a separate letter, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, a TRC member, also called for Washington officials to bridge the partisan divide on the cliff.

But unlike the TRC, the wholesalers group dismissed the most recent proposal from Obama, and said they agreed with Republicans who reacted to it with laughter. 

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors opposes allowing tax rates for the highest earners to expire, saying that would hurt businesses that pay their taxes through the individual code. 

“The proposal sent to Congress last week by the administration would clearly exacerbate rather than solve the problems facing us,” NAW’s leaders said. 

— This story was updated at 1:10 p.m.