FreedomWorks CEO: Tax Deal a ‘No Brainer’ for Conservatives to Support

By Jenny Schlesinger

Dec 14, 2010 1:56pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Republican opposition to the tax deal reached by President Obama and GOP leaders on Capitol Hill is growing even as the package motors toward passage, with former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., the latest prominent Republican to come out in opposition to it.  But on ABC’s “Top Line” today, Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of the tea party-affiliated group FreedomWorks, told us the bill remains a “no-brainer” for conservatives, despite concerns that the president is using the deal to pass a stimulus package by another name.  “This isn't stimulus. This is dodging the tax bullet,” Kibbe said. “That's the grand deal — extend all the Bush tax cuts, a new tax cut on payroll taxes, which I think that Republicans and tea partiers should support in exchange for extending unemployment benefits, which Harry Reid has already demonstrated an ability to pass with the Republican votes he needs.”  “So to me, it's a no-brainer to not allow taxes to go up dramatically in January so we can then deal with fundamental tax reform. We can deal with [Rep.] Paul Ryan's [proposed] budget, which he's going to offer, which will offer substantial spending reform.”  The deal as it now stands is the best Republicans can hope to reach so long as Democrats remain in control of the House in the lame-duck session of Congress, Kibbe said.  “The next Congress is going to be fundamentally different. But the problem with this bill is that we have this Congress. We have Nancy Pelosi as speaker. We have Harry Reid as majority leader. And if we don't do anything, taxes go up dramatically on Jan. 1.”  Kibbe also said a federal judge’s ruling yesterday finding a key component of the health care law to be unconstitutional will “give us momentum” toward repealing the law in the House. He said Republicans should proceed on two tiers: a full repeal in the House, and then trying to strike out individual portions in coordination with Senate Republicans.  “You pass a full repeal in the House and then you offer a number of piecemeal approaches, like repealing the individual mandate, which by the way produces budget savings. Things that Democrats in the Senate — Democrats that will have to run in 2012 — will have heartburn on. You also continue to drive public opinion. You have this momentum in the courts. Hopefully we get this to the Supreme Court. All of which sets the stage for 2012, which will be a referendum on Obamacare.”  He also said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele “didn’t do the job” he was hired to do in terms of fully funding GOP campaign efforts in 2010. In some cases, he said, Steele’s RNC “probably undermined” conservative candidates for Congress.  “They definitely need new leadership. And it’s a question of whether or not the RNC, which whether we like it or not, was an essential partner of the Tea Party in this last election. But they weren't raising money, and they weren't doing basic get-out-the-vote efforts. And I think that probably undermined some of our candidates, so we need that functionality or otherwise we need to move it out of the RNC completely.”  Watch the full discussion with Matt Kibbe HERE.  Also on today’s “Top Line,” we featured a piece of ABC’s Jake Tapper’s interview with Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., from the latest episode of the “Political Punch” Webcast.  And we handicapped the race for RNC chairman with The Hotline’s Reid Wilson, who said Steele’s coalition is crumbling even as he tries to make the case for another term.  Watch that portion of “Top Line” HERE. 

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