Representative Van Hollen on Congress' Tax-Cut Showdown

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) pose for photographers on November 2, 2010 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Budget policy is at stake during Congress' current tax-cut showdown. The winner will get its way on budget policy, and the loser will likely take the blame if there is another recession.

The situation is a role reversal from last summer, as Democrats are taking a hard-line stance on taxes. Representative Chris Van Hollen is a ranking Democratic member of the House Budget Committee and represents Maryland's 8th District in Congress.

"Regardless of how it feels, it should not be a game," Van Hollen says. "This is not a game. There are very serious issues and implications here, which is why the President has said that Congress should act now, immediately, to extend tax relief for 98 percent of the American people." 

Van Hollen says that there is plenty of opportunity for compromise on several pressing issues that Republicans and Democrats agree on. "What we have said is let's move forward on the portion that we agree on," he says. "Republicans say they want to extend tax relief for 98% of the people. So do the Democrats, let's get that done, off the table, rather than what we're seeing here in terms of holding all those tax breaks and relief for the middle class hostage." 

Another point of compromise is the spending sequester, an automatic $1.2 trillion across-the-board slash that would cut $500 billion from the Pentagon's budget, as well as make cuts to social welfare programs. "With respect to the sequester, [Democrats] have also said that we should take the same balanced approach to replacing the sequester that every bipartisan commission has recommended, and that means reducing the long term deficit through a combination of cuts, [but also] revenues generated from eliminating tax loopholes and tax breaks for the folks at the very top and special interests," Van Hollen says. 


Chris Van Hollen

Produced by:

Robert Balint, Rebecca Klein and Brad Mielke

Comments [1]


A "debt crisis debacle" could have been avoided if this Congressman did not vote for massive spending that almost quadrupled the deficit along with the Obamacare TAX and did vote for a tax increase when Pelosi was Speaker and his party controlled the Congress.

This Congressman should have paid the bills for the programs he voted for by demanding a budget from Pelosi instead of leaving the massive bill he ran up to the Republicans and future generations while throwing around the word "hostage" which is not very "civil".

Jul. 19 2012 09:11 AM

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