Kind said the New Democrat Coalition could help “bridge the gap” between Republicans and Democrats on any deficit reduction deal or tax reform bill.
“We’re at a unique moment right now in our nation’s history, with the election results from last Tuesday. I do feel time is of the essence. We have an opportunity now of putting in place a process that will establish comprehensive deficit reduction. And hopefully in a bipartisan fashion because it’s the only way it can be done,” Kind said.
But Kind faulted Boehner’s recent offer on increasing tax revenues, but not rates, for a lack of specifics.
“It’s easy to say, but unless you start putting some expenditures on the table, just what specifically you would eliminate in order to increase revenues, it’s all at the 30,000-foot level,” he said. “And this is the problem we’ve had in the Ways and Means Committee over the last couple of years. Of the endless tax reform hearings that we had, it’s all being done at the 30,000-foot level. And unless or until someone has some ideas that they’re willing to put on paper, that’s when the real discussion has to take place.”
With Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., staying on as the top House Democrat, the coalition missed a chance to see one of its natural allies, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., ascend to that position. Hoyer, generally considered the most moderate member of Democratic leadership, would have a natural affinity with the group.
Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., the outgoing chairman, is in a good position to win his bid for the caucus vice chairman slot, providing a voice for the New Democrats at the leadership table.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.