If a fiscal-cliff agreement includes tax-rate increases, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican whip, will oppose the deal.
“We’re not going to whip a deal, just for the sake of a deal,” McCarthy says, in an interview with National Review Online. “I’m not going to work on something that, I feel, hurts the economy.”
McCarthy is confident in Speaker John Boehner’s ability to push for spending cuts and entitlement reform, and “set the framework to get it, to get us moving again.”
House Republicans, he says, “continue to believe that the best way to get revenue is through economic growth, as well as eliminating loopholes through overall tax reform.”
A handful of Republicans, such as Representative Tom Cole (Okla.), are open to a deal that would extend current tax rates, except for high-end earners. McCarthy respects Cole’s perspective, but he does not endorse it. “Tom has a different strategy,” he says. “He wants to take one thing and fight for the other things.”
McCarthy adds that the Obama White House’s latest offer, which was introduced by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Thursday, is dead on arrival. “The president keeps changing the numbers,” he says. “It’s crazy.”