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DeMint Says He Will Filibuster Tax Compromise DeMint Says He Will Filibuster Tax Compromise DeMint Says He Will Filibuster Tax Compromise DeMint Says He Will Filib...

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Budget / SENATE

DeMint Says He Will Filibuster Tax Compromise

Sen. Jim DeMint.(Chet Susslin)

photo of Clifford Marks
December 8, 2010

Updated at 9:48 a.m. on December 8.

Tea party favorite and conservative firebrand Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said Tuesday that he will filibuster the tax cut compromise worked out by President Obama and Republican leaders this week.

In explaining his opposition, DeMint cited the lack of permanency in tax rates, as well as a provision to extend unemployment insurance.

 

"We don’t need a temporary economy, which means we don’t need a temporary tax rate," DeMint said in a radio interview with conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt. "A permanent extension of our current tax rates would allow businesses to plan five and 10 years in advance, and that’s how you build an economy."

DeMint said he wasn't sure whether other members of the Republican caucus shared his plans to block the compromise measure, but he did say many of his conservative colleagues had "grave concerns" about the package.

DeMint criticized Republican leaders for not negotiating a more favorable deal at a time when he said they had considerable leverage in talks with the president.

"Frankly, I don’t think the president is going to let us leave town without extending tax rates for at least the middle class. So I think we had a lot of leverage," he said. "I don’t want to second-guess my leadership, but frankly, I think we need to come away with a lot better than this."

A contingent of Democrats in the Senate have also expressed dislike for the deal, but they are unlikely to mount enough votes to stop it alone. As for whether enough dissatisfaction exists between liberal and conservative opponents of the compromise to actually derail it, DeMint wouldn't say, commenting only that the measure would face problems on both sides of the aisle.

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