Huelskamp: Tea Party Will Challenge GOP Who Raise Taxes

Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012 04:40 PM

By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

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Rep. Tim Huelskamp tells Newsmax he is “very pessimistic” that there will be a deal in Washington to significantly cut federal spending and begin dealing with the deficit.

The Kansas Republican also says he is “dissatisfied with both parties” for not taking action earlier to deal with the fiscal crisis.

And he warns that the conservative base could mount primary challenges against Republican incumbents who agree to raise taxes.

Editor's Note: 5 Signs Stock Market Will Collapse in 2013

Rep. Huelskamp was first elected in 2010 and is a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He is one of four Republicans the GOP leadership removed from key committee posts for failure to toe the party line, a move the congressman calls “petty” and “vindictive.”

Several Senate Republicans have suggested they could endorse a plan raising taxes on high-income earners. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Huelskamp was asked if such a proposal could pass the GOP-controlled House.

“I’m not for certain that would pass,” he says.

“The speaker had offered a somewhat similar plan to the House in terms of raising taxes on the top one percent or half percent, but the last thing we want to do in these economically difficult times is things that would result in the loss of jobs.

“Anywhere from 200,000 to 700,000 jobs would be lost with the president’s tax increases. I’d rather extend these tax measures for another year and that would provide some certainty in this current environment.

“With the president so firmly entrenched in his idea that we should raise taxes on anyone, together with the Obamacare taxes that are rolling in next year, it could be an enormous tax increase on January first which will set the economy back.

“The tax increases that the president has proposed would impact hundreds of thousands of small businesses so it’s just not ‘the wealthy,’ it impacts those who actually create jobs today and will be doing that in the future.

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The proposed tax increase that the House rejected last week to raise taxes on millionaires would have impacted over 300,000 small businesses and over 41 percent of small business income.”

Asked if he is optimistic that a deal will be reached, Huelskamp responds: “I am not that optimistic. It’s still 50-50 but I am pretty certain there will not be a solution.

“The problem in Washington, D.C. is not that there’s not enough taxes collected. There’s too much spending. And we have a majority leader in the Senate as well as the president of the United States that are absolutely opposed to any reductions in spending.

“With the $1.3 trillion deficit last year and looking at a trillion-dollar deficit for years to come, we have to reduce spending. So I’m very pessimistic that there will be any spending reductions that are necessary to start working towards some fiscal responsibility.

Editor's Note: 5 Signs Stock Market Will Collapse in 2013

“We have a president that won 51 percent of the vote but is more than willing to hold up tax relief for 99 percent of Americans to get after the one percent he would like to identify. But that does not solve the problem.
It’s a spending problem and Americans, as they see this, hopefully they’ll begin to understand the reality of the problem is there’s too much spending in Washington, D.C., too many new programs, too much government, too many regulations.

“Obamacare kicking in next year it will be decidedly cost Americans jobs. We have 20 million Americans out of work or looking for more work and the last thing they want to hear is that Washington is going to do some things that will make the economy slow down, perhaps go into recession.”

Huelskamp believes that even with the fiscal cliff looming, President Obama’s top priority is raising taxes to pay for increased spending.

“Even the biggest tax increase in American history will not be enough to match the new spending priorities this president has,” he tells Newsmax.

“If he wants to raise the money to pay for his programs, particularly for Obamacare, it will take these massive tax increases that are on the table for the end of the year.

“I’m so dissatisfied with both parties in Washington because this is not a surprise. For two years they knew this was coming. I introduced a bill over a year ago that would help avoid this problem, make the tax relief permanent and then start working on fundamental tax reform. So this cliff is Washington’s own making.

“We waited far too long, as evident in the election results. Clearly, the advantage that Republicans have had as being seen as the pro-taxpayer party, we’ve lost, especially with the Republicans in Washington, D.C. actually talking about tax increases.

“For decades, it’s been the Democrats that have passed tax increases through the House and it should stay that way. The Republican Party needs to return to its conservative roots and understand that we are the party of growth and opportunity, not the party of smaller tax increases than the president of the United States.”

The Club for Growth and other conservative groups have said they’ll target any Republican who would vote for a tax hike. Asked if those Republicans should worry about a primary challenge, Huelskamp observes: “They’ve received a number of calls and concerns. I’ve heard from constituents, and if it’s the same across the country, the conservative base is quite upset.

“They’re very upset that in the midst of the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression and a wounded presidency, that the GOP establishment could not beat this president, could not win seats in the Senate, lost eight seats in the House. So there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the current establishment in Washington, D.C. and I’m presuming it will translate into election results in the next year to two. Primaries begin in a little over a year in some of these states and this is going to be a huge issue in many of these races.”

In light of Speaker John Boehner’s playing the lead role in the removal of Rep. Huelskamp and three other Republicans from committee posts, Huelskamp was asked if Boehner’s job is safe.

“That would be a decision for a couple of weeks from now when the entire House will consider who will be the next speaker. It might be the same. That’s probably pretty likely.

Editor's Note: 5 Signs Stock Market Will Collapse in 2013

“The way the speaker has negotiated behind closed doors is not helpful and starting by granting the president’s idea that we should raise taxes on someone, that was the wrong place to start. So there’s certainly a lot of dissatisfaction, but then you tie on top of it the really petty, vindictive acts against myself and three of my colleagues by kicking us off preferred committees.

“If Republicans would like to return to the majority in the Senate and actually take back the House, the best way to do that is promoting and rewarding and advocating conservative pro-growth principles, not attacking those who are doing so.”


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