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Nation/World

December 10, 2012

Obama, Boehner discuss ‘cliff’

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

If Republicans agree to Obama’s plan to increase rates on the top 2 percent of Americans, Corker added, “the focus then shifts to entitlements ...”

Besides getting tax hikes through the Republican-dominated House, Corker’s proposal faces another hurdle: Democrats haven’t been receptive to GOP proposals on the entitlement programs. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Sunday was skeptical about proposals to increase the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67.

And hard-line fiscal conservatives in the House are holding fast to their position.

“No Republican wants to vote for a rate tax increase,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chair of the House Republican Conference.

Still, at least one House Republican has said there is another way. Rep. Tom Cole, of Oklahoma, has said Obama and Boehner should agree not to raise tax rates on the majority of Americans and negotiate the rates for top earners later. Cole said Sunday that most House Republicans would vote for that approach because it doesn’t include a rate hike.

“You know, it’s not waving a white flag to recognize political reality,” Cole said.

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