For Cantor, the biggest problem facing the efforts at reform are the same issues that have plagued efforts for other “grand bargains” during this session of Congress. “We tried to do that all last year,” Cantor said.
“We’ve always said we’d like to see comprehensive reform ... [but] the fundamental differences are still there” between Democrats and Republicans.
House Democrats said they are wary of new tax cuts and insisted it should be part of a broader reform of the tax code that eliminates loopholes that corporations and wealthy Americans use to significantly lower their tax rate — or even avoid paying taxes altogether.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Democrats are not necessarily opposed to cutting taxes for small businesses.
“We’ve have had tax cuts, as you know, when we were in charge, for small businesses. Numerous tax cuts to encourage hiring of people to encourage investing in business equipment,” Hoyer said.
“So we want to see that, we want to encourage businesses to grow.”
But Hoyer nevertheless chided Cantor, arguing, “It is easy, and requires no courage, to cut taxes. But what takes some courage and responsibility is making sure that your revenues match your expenditures. We haven’t done very well with that in the last decade.”
Hoyer said Democrats would keep an open mind “but piecemealing it is not what we ought to be doing. ... I’m a strong proponent of a big, bold and balanced plan, which includes all elements of expenditures.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.