John Boehner had a message for House Republicans Wednesday morning: stick together or be left out.According to BuzzFeed's John Stanton, Boehner was angered by Cole's proposal, which would have effectively ended the GOP's attempt to take middle-class tax cuts hostage.
The Ohio Republican privately urged his House colleagues not to waver from their position to keep tax rates frozen, calling it a “principled position.” [...]
Boehner also brushed back on Rep. Tom Cole’s (R-Okla.) private comments — reported by POLITICO — that Congress should vote to extend middle class tax cuts before talking about tax rates on the wealthy.
“I told Tom earlier in our conference meeting that I disagreed with him,” Boehner said to reporters after the meeting.
During a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, Boehner made clear to Cole and his colleagues, that the Oklahoma Republican’s plan was a nonstarter, Republicans familiar with the meeting said. [...] According to Republicans, Cole’s comments to Politico Tuesday angered Boehner, who is trying to maintain strict unity within his conference as talks on the fiscal cliff heat up.The key thing that this reveals is that Republican rhetoric about revenue is nothing but hot air. They can talk until they are blue in the face about being willing to accept revenue, but unless they stop holding everything hostage for Bush's high-income tax cuts, they haven't actually done anything meaningful.
Remember, under current law, Bush's tax cuts on income above $250,000 per year will expire on December 31. Extending them past that point would represent a new tax cut. And while it might sound great to hear them claim that Grover Norquist doesn't rule their world, the fact that they are simultaneously insisting on a massive $800 billion tax cut for people making more than $250,000 per year puts the lie to their rhetoric.