Republicans seem united behind the principle that raising takes on anyone during this recession is a non-starter, but will they hold the line in the face of a tempting Schumer compromise?
Over the past few days, a growing number of lawmakers has publicly embraced the idea of extending expiring tax cuts for families making as much as $1 million a year. They include newly elected Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who argued on "Fox News Sunday" that "we should draw the line in the sand for millionaires."
The idea's chief proponent, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), said that raising the income threshold from $250,000, as Obama has proposed, has the potential to unite fractious Democrats behind a single strategy on the tax cuts, which are set to expire Dec. 31 unless Congress acts.
Schumer said the higher threshold also would make it far more difficult for Republicans to say no.
McConnell says he won't bite:
On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) flatly rejected the $1 million threshold, arguing that "Republicans and a growing chorus of Democrats believe that raising taxes is a horrible idea" in the midst of a fragile recovery, no matter who is targeted.
"With millions of people out of work, Americans expect lawmakers to make economic policy based on what's good for the economy, not what sounds best in a focus group," McConnell said in a statement, adding that, "it's not too late for both parties to work together."