From the office of Rep. Peter Roskam (R, Illinois 6th District)…
BLOOMINGDALE —Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06), who serves on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, appeared on CNBC’s Kudlow Report last night to discuss the fiscal cliff and the House push for fundamental tax reform.
On the Opportunity to Avert the Fiscal Cliff
I think that there is a tremendous opportunity, and here’s why: Speaker Boehner yesterday gave a statement, and he offered his sincere congratulations to President Obama and he said, “Look, we are willing to talk about more revenues.” These are revenues that we think that can come as a result of a growing economy, and the House has already acted on one proposal that says move forward and extend the current tax rates for one more year, and use that as a bridge to tax reform. Before there were voices on the Democratic side that were saying, “Well let’s just go over the fiscal cliff.” Well that’s a bucket of crazy. Nobody wants to go over the fiscal cliff, it’s ridiculous.
On Likelihood of Extending Current Rates as a Bridge to Tax Reform
President Obama, in December of 2010, extended these rates one time already. So the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior…The reality is, Barack Obama has signed into law in the past, an extension of these rates. I will predict he will do it again, simply because the House is not going to pass a tax hike. It’s just not going to happen. And in the words of Harry Reid, who many times has said let’s focus on things that the Senate can actually do, well, let’s focus on something that can actually pass the House.
On the Need to Act Quickly to Prevent the Fiscal Cliff
There’s no percentage in dragging this thing out and playing a countdown type of drama. There’s nothing good that’s going to happen there. I think we need to agree in principle. The House has been working over the past two years on a tax reform agenda that is focused in on one word, and that is competitiveness. That’s been led by Dave Camp as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. So this tax reform effort is all teed up, and the country is highly dissatisfied with the current tax code. It’s an incredible opportunity for everybody to come together. I’m not here pumping sunshine and telling you that it’s easy, but what I am saying is that there is a unique opportunity to bring people together because nobody in their right mind should push us over this cliff.