Skip to main content

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) makes a point about his meeting with President Barack Obama regarding the country's debt ceiling, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington May 12, 2011.   REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst   (UNITED STA
McConnell today: Insisting on spending cuts and revenue to replace sequester is moving the goal posts.
McConnell 2011: Republicans support a "package of spending cuts and revenue" to replace the sequester.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Barack Obama is moving the goal posts by insisting on revenue being part of any deal to replace the budget sequester's automatic spending cuts, but in 2011 McConnell himself publicly supported including revenue as part of a plan to replace the automatic spending cuts.

McConnell made his claim in a Senate floor speech delivered Tuesday morning. According to McConnell, when President Obama signed the legislation creating the sequester in the summer of 2011, he agreed to take revenue increases off the table:

In essence, the deal we struck was that, in exchange for avoiding a second vote before the election, the debt limit would be paired with spending cuts only, and would not involve a tax increase.
Therefore, McConnell said, "any effort to bring taxes into the picture now is just a ploy to move the goal posts."

As you'll see below the fold, however, McConnell is the one moving the goal posts by insisting on a cuts-only replacement of the sequester. In fact, in 2011, McConnell said the GOP had proposed a "package of spending cuts and revenue."

As you may recall, the legislation that created the sequester also created a deficit reduction super committee that was tasked with developing a plan to replace the sequester by November 2011. McConnell was given three seats to fill on that committee, and when he named his appointees, he didn't say that revenue was off the table. In fact, he explicitly said that "reforming the tax code" had to be part of the plan "to get our nation's fiscal house in order."

Then, in November 2011, after the deficit reduction super committee failed to agree on a sequester-replacement, McConnell said that Republicans had proposed revenue increases, only to have Democrats reject them:

This fact was underscored in the final hours of negotiations by their refusal to accept even a basic package of spending cuts and revenue that they had already agreed to during previous debt-limit negotiations—unless they were accompanied by a tax hike on the very people Americans are counting on to create the jobs we desperately need. Not even a proposal to get rid of a tax deduction for corporate jet owners, something Democrats had  previously eyed as a major prize, was enough to move them off their puzzling insistence on taxing job creators in the middle of a jobs crisis.
McConnell wasn't merely leaving the door open to additional revenue, he was claiming that Republicans had put revenue on the table—including closing "a tax deduction for corporate jet owners." The problem, he said, was that Democrats were insisting on raising tax rates.

But even though McConnell may have been drawing a line against tax hikes on individuals, he wasn't just willing to support additional revenue, he was accusing Democrats of rejecting it as insufficient. The debate wasn't about whether revenue should be part of the deal—it was about how much revenue should be part of the deal.

Now, even though he was once in favor of including revenue as part of the sequester replacement, McConnell says revenue is off the table. That's the textbook definition of moving the goal posts. And when McConnell says the plan all along was for a cuts-only replacement, his own words from 2011 don't back up the claim.

It's not just McConnell of 2011 versus McConnell of 2013, either. As you might remember, the tax cliff deal reached at the end of last year replaced the first two months of the sequester with smarter deficit reduction measures. And yep, you guessed it: Those deficit reduction measures were equally divided between revenue and spending. That's something Mitch McConnell should know. After all, he voted for it.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:03 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site