Mitch McConnell takes taxes off debt negotiations

McConnell: “The Tax Issue Is Finished”

McConnell: “The Tax Issue Is Finished”

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Jan. 6 2013 3:15 PM

McConnell: “The Tax Issue Is Finished”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell insists lawmakers must discuss spending, not revenue

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

As if it wasn’t already clear that members of Congress are headed toward yet another fiscal impasse, the Senate’s top Republican said his party won’t accept more tax increases as part of the upcoming debt and budget negotiations. “The tax issue is finished.  Over. Completed,” Sen. Mitch McConnell said on ABC. “That’s behind us. Now the question is what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and that’s our spending addiction.” (Watch the interview after the jump.) Yet Democrats made it clear that taxes have to be part of the conversation, reports Bloomberg. “Mitch McConnell is drawing that line in the sand; it’s a recipe for more gridlock,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said on Fox News.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, also agreed that Congress needs to look at changing the tax code to raise more revenue, points out the Wall Street Journal. "There are still deductions, credits, special treatments under the tax code that ought to be looked at very carefully,'' Durbin said on CNN, echoing statement that had been made by President Obama on Saturday about closing loopholes that benefit corporations and the wealthy. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also argued for more revenue during an interview on CBS News, saying that what was secured in the last-minute fiscal cliff deal was “not enough.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.