Pete Sessions: GOP Ready to Make a Deal After Christmas

Friday, 21 Dec 2012 04:46 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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House Republicans are ready to make an eleventh-hour deal to stop the nation from falling over the fiscal cliff, senior Texas Rep. Pete Sessions assured Newsmax in an exclusive interview.

"I would let the public know that the Republicans will come back quickly next week. We are ready to do business," Sessions, Chairman of National Republican Congressional Committee, said Friday.

He said Republicans quashed House Speaker John Boehner’s "Plan B" to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all but those with incomes over $1 million because of concerns about whether President Barack Obama would accept it or try to add to it.

"A group of members felt like it was unwise to move forward on a plan that the president would veto," he said.

"Members are very much concerned. We want to make sure we pass a bill that does not hurt the economy further."

He said Republicans believe that under Obama’s solution to the fiscal cliff, the nation stands to lose 700,000 jobs and see businesses be hit with new taxes, putting undue pressure on the economy.

"What I would suggest to people is that the president is the person who during his reelection said ‘I will work on a bipartisan basis,' " Sessions said.

While some critics have said the rejection of Boehner’s plan by House Republicans points to a GOP in disarray, Sessions strongly disagrees.

"I would call this a good team exercise for John Boehner," he said.

"I’m a member of the Republican leadership and I have known and do know each of these members personally. We will stand together and work together. The president has only himself to argue with."

There have been rumors that Obama and Boehner may try to hammer out yet another alternative plan in secret over the Christmas holiday — before Congress returns to the negotiating table next week. But Sessions discounts that scuttlebutt.

"I don’t believe there have been or there will be any secret meetings Both sides recognize that would not be productive," Sessions said.

He said another issue figuring into the fiscal cliff talks is the huge expenses Americans are about to be hit with when Obama’s health-care initiative becomes law on Jan. 1.

"We know that Obamacare taxation is going to kick in by law and that will mean a massive tax increase," Sessions said. "We believe we should digest those first."

Sessions has said House Republicans could accept higher tax rates on the wealthy if those increases were paired with cuts to entitlement programs.
"If it’s a good deal, yes," he told Bloomberg Television’s "Political Capital with Al Hunt," last week.

"If it does something long term that betters the circumstances."

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