Inhofe, R-Tulsa, issued a joint statement Tuesday with Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, criticizing the president for proposing higher taxes rather than reforms to entitlement spending.
“We urge the President to lead, rather than loop endlessly around a beaten path,” the lawmakers said. “It is in his power to forge a deal that (reins) in our debt without levying more taxes on struggling Americans, and without hollowing out an at-war military.”
Reps. Tom Cole, R-Moore, and James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, said last week that the GOP-led House would rather see the cuts go into effect than raise taxes to avert them.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, said the president shouldn't view tax reform as a way to pay down the deficit. Instead, Coburn said, closing tax loopholes should be accompanied by lower tax rates for working Americans.
“Ironically, the very tax earmarks the administration slipped into the fiscal cliff deal for special interests such as Hollywood movie producers, the wind industry and NASCAR, kept rates artificially high for lower-income and middle class families,” Coburn said.
But Obama said Tuesday, “If we're serious about paying down the deficit, the savings we achieve from tax reform should be used to pay down the deficit, and potentially to make our businesses more competitive.”