Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, issued a statement Friday night to clarify his position on new taxes in the wake of media reports that he would support new revenue in upcoming budget negotiations with Democrats. The statement is below. Look for a story in Sunday’s Oklahoman about Cole’s and Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s observations on the government shutdown and the budget negotiations.
Cole said Friday night:
“Despite reports to the contrary, I oppose raising taxes to deal with the deficit or eliminate the savings generated by the so-called sequester. I have said we ought to pursue entitlement reform that saves money, which is something both President Obama and House Republicans have proposed. This additional revenue would enable us to ease the cuts imposed by the sequester.
“However, to reach a compromise, I would be willing to consider additional revenue achieved through pro-growth tax reform. This would include measures such as the repatriation of stranded profits, additional revenue through expedited energy production on federal lands and offshore and asset sales. None of these measures involve increasing taxes or tax rates, but all of them would yield additional revenue to the federal government.
“As I have said before, we need to start where we agree. The president and House Republicans agree that we need to reform entitlements. And both agree that there are pro-growth policies that would yield additional revenue to the federal government without raising tax rates. Working together, we can find common ground that will enable us to reduce or even eliminate the impact of the sequester and continue to lower the deficit.”