NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester released the following statement on President Barack Obama’s commitment to fighting for an extension of tax cuts for the middle class, in addition to working toward a balanced approach to reducing our nation’s deficit:

“When the American people went to the polls on November 6th, they sent a clear message to Washington: they want their elected leaders to cooperate to find a solution to bringing down America’s deficit and to work together to find a balanced approach. President Obama has a plan that reduces our deficit by $4 trillion. It asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share and continues making the investments our country needs for continued economic growth — such as key investments in small businesses, American manufacturing, education, and clean energy.

“The president and Democrats are open to reaching a compromise, but throughout these discussions, the bottom line will always be a balanced approach that’s best for middle-class families.

“As we find ourselves in the holiday season, both parties should work together to pass a renewal of tax cuts for the middle class, so Tennessee families can have some added certainty. If we take swift action, we can avoid a blow to consumer spending, which constitutes roughly 70% of the American economy. Through an extension of middle class tax cuts, every single Tennessean will receive a tax break on the first $250,000 of their income, and income taxes will not increase for 98% of families and 97% of small businesses. But if we don’t pass an extension, hardworking families will get hit with an income tax hike of $2,200 in a matter of weeks.

“Some Republicans in Congress have indicated they share the President’s view that new revenue must be a part of any deal that responsibly reduces our deficit. Tennessee’s Republican delegation needs to get on board and get serious about the specifics. Tennessee’s working families cannot afford a tax hike at this crucial moment for our economy. It’s time for Republicans to come to the table and agree to a credible plan that pays down our nation’s deficit and protects the investments that will continue to grow our economy. The President is ready and willing to get down to business — working with both Democrats and Republicans to move the middle class forward.”

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Sen. Tom Coburn: ‘I’D RATHER SEE RATES GO UP.‘ “Personally, I know we have to raise revenue; I don’t really care which way we do it.  Actually, I would rather see the rates go up than do it the other way, because it gives us greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future.” [The Hill, 12/5/12]

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME): “Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, who is retiring, joined a handful of other Republicans on Tuesday suggesting that Congress should pass the middle-class tax cut extensions now, then leave the fight over taxes and spending until later. Americans, she said, ‘should not even be questioning that we will ultimately raise taxes on low- to middle-income people.’ Congress could take that off the table ‘while you’re grappling with tax cuts for the wealthy,’ she said.” [NY Times, 12/5/12]

Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX): Separately, Representative Kay Granger of Texas is endorsing Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole’s call to extend all tax cuts for middle-class earners as “just the right thing to do.” [Bloomberg, 12/5/12]

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC): “I would probably vote for it at that point.” [Huffington Post, 12/4/12]

Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH): “Rate increase, if the package includes significant entitlement reform that gets you to $4 to $6 trillion (in deficit savings) over 10 years, I would vote for that.” [The Associated Press, 11/30/12]

Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH): “If it gets us past the fiscal cliff and the president is willing to consider meaningful savings in entitlements, it’s a legitimate solution.” [The Associated Press, 11/30/12]

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): “I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now.” [Politico, 11/27/12]

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA): “I have to say that if you’re going to sign me up with a camp, I like what Tom Cole has to say.” [CNN, 11/29/12]

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID): “I wouldn’t have a problem with letting those tax rates go up.” [Reuters, 11/29/12]

Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL): “Tom Cole is talking about passing the ones that are out there so there could be more certainty, and I think that would be a positive step.” [NY Times, 11/29/12]

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