Republicans are in "complete agreement" with a major element of President Barack Obama's jobs plan, a top senator said Tuesday.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said that the GOP could get on board with a big part of the president's plan, which would eliminate capital gains taxes for small business investment.
"We are in complete agreement with the president on the point that if we don't have a capital gains tax, on money that's invested in small business that's lefts in that business for at least five years, we think that's a very, very good idea," Grassley said during an appearance this morning on CNBC.
Republicans are traditionally supportive of tax cuts as a method of stimulating the economy, but the statement from Grassley, a senior Republican, could foreshadow at least some bipartisan agreement on Obama's jobs plan.
The president has called for the capital gains tax cut, as well as a new jobs tax credit and a $30 billion small business lending fund, which he's announcing today, as part of his plan to spur U.S. job growth.
Grassley suggested that Obama would have to take on members of his own party in Congress in order to achieve the capital gains measure.
"I offered that as an amendment a year ago, but people in his party in Congress don't like not having a capital gains tax, even for small business," Grassley said. "So will the president fight to get his own party to come around and work with us Republicans to help small business?"
The veteran Iowa Republican also suggested that Obama could have received emphatic support from the GOP for his budget had it not included the stimulus bill or an increase in appropriations.
"Let me suggest that had they not billed into this budget a lot of the stimulus and a lot of the 21 percent increases in appropriations, and froze at a lower level instead of at the higher level, I think you'd see a lot of enthusiastic Republican support," he said.