Tags: inhofe | taxes | fiscal | cliff

Inhofe to Newsmax: Higher Taxes Not on Table in Fiscal Cliff Talks

Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012 06:47 PM

By Todd Beamon and Kathleen Walter

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Sen. Jim Inhofe reaffirmed to Newsmax TV his commitment not to raise taxes to stem the nation’s march toward the so-called fiscal cliff, saying his GOP colleagues that have hinted they might make the party look weak.

“I have not” conceded, the Oklahoma Republican tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “I made it very clear that I was not conceding at all. So long as we look weak on that, then they’ve won the battle.

“We have to understand that our problem is spending too much, not taxing too little. Most of the people understand that. All of the Republicans did understand that, so I’m a little disappointed in some of the actions of my fellow Republicans.”

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Inhofe, whol will be the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the new term, added that he was sticking to the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” he signed with Grover Norquist, the influential president of Americans for Tax Reform.

“There may be others out there, so I came out of the chute saying I am not going to break from that. I made it in all sincerity – and once we do that, we open the door to the concept that we really are doing a good job governing and we’re going to have to have more revenue,” he said.

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Inhofe said that Republicans also must do what President Barack Obama is doing – take their plan to avert the fiscal cliff into the court of public opinion.

“Well, we’re not as persuasive as he is, but we have to be more persuasive. We have righteousness on our side. The vast majority of people would rather understand that what we’re saying is true. So we just have to be as persuasive as he is.

“The problem with that is he has the bully pulpit,” Inhofe added, referring to Obama. “He can go out anytime he wants, and he has access to the vast majority of the media that doesn’t like conservatives.

“It’s a problem, but we’ve got the right cause. We have the truth – and we should be able to sell our product better.”

As a leading GOP member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Inhofe said that he will continue to battle the White House over restrictive environmental legislation and an overreaching U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“If you look at the things that this president’s done to destroy America – you talk about the deficit; we talk about his war on fossil fuels keeping us from supplying our own energy; we talk about his disarming military of the United States – what they don’t know is the cost of the regulations.

“These are regulations that he put off purposely until after the election, because people had realized what it’s going to cost them. I’m talking about the Ozone rule. That would place 650 counties... out of attainment in the United States.

“The hydraulic fracturing: He thought he could get by with this thing and say ‘I’m all for fossil fuels, I’m for oil and gas,’ but we’ve got to do something with hydraulic fracturing.

“What can we do about it? We can do all we can to explain the issues, to identify the issues to the American people. Once they hear about it, once they understand it, once they’re educated to it – then we can win.”

And, Inhofe reiterated his objection to the possibility of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice serving at U.S. Secretary of State – even more so after she met on Tuesday with GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

Rice met privately with the senators and acting CIA Director Michael Morell for more than an hour to discuss her early comments on the cause of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The senators emerged from the session expressing even more questions about the Benghazi assault and doubts about Rice’s fitness as Secretary of State.

“A story this morning in one of the magazines had quite a misquote on me,” Inhofe began. “I was saying that, in the event that she did not have the information, that she was fed just the White House line and believed it, then I can see why she did what she did starting with the five Sunday shows.

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“So let’s assume that she did not have the knowledge of the truth of what the CIA had uncovered. Still, I would oppose her because of the way that she’s run her office.

“She, being the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, she has been very consistent in siding with the Palestinians over the Israelis. She has been illegally putting a lot of the money of the United States in UNESCO and the United Nations.

“There are things that she has done that I would oppose her on anyway, even if it were not for the Benghazi problem,” Inhofe added. “She would have a hard time getting confirmed in spite of the Benghazi thing.”


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