During a meeting convened Tuesday, Sen. Tom Coburn suggested that his fellow conservative Republicans should consider letting Bush-era tax cuts expire on the wealthy in exchange for entitlement reform promises.
A couple conservative senators in the meeting of top conservative Republican Senators on the GOP steering committee seemed open to the idea. But it was generally met with hostility by Senators and staffers assembled, according to a Republican source familiar with the meeting who declined to be identified because the meeting was closed door.
The Oklahoman's private counsel echoes what he said publicly. Coburn said on MSNBC today, "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."
Democrats such as Sen. Chuck Schumer are seizing on Coburn's opening and using it as a sword in their own attack.
“Senator Coburn is an unquestioned conservative. If he doesn’t provide cover for the Republicans to finally shift on tax rates, I don’t know who does," Schumer said today in a statement.