Republicans Said to Discuss Tax Options

GOP legislators look at ways to boost revenue from high earners.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress are designing options that would raise revenue from high earners while preserving the 35 percent top income-tax rate, in a sign of preparations for a post-election session, said two Republican congressional aides.

The tax-raising options would be used only as part of a broad agreement on taxes and entitlement programs if President Barack Obama wins re-election. They are included in a toolbox to be opened after the Nov. 6 elections if Republicans make a political calculation to support a deal that raises taxes, said the aides, who requested anonymity to discuss the options.

Seeking Agreement

No pre-election negotiations are taking place between leaders in Congress and committee chairmen. Separately, a bipartisan group of senators including Mark Warner of Virginia and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia has been trying to come up with an agreement.

‘Grand Bargain’

“The lure for Republicans to come to the table around a grand bargain should be the potential for serious entitlement reform, not the promise of a lower top rate in tax reform,” Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a speech last week.

‘Worth Exploring’

The idea is “something that’s worth exploring,” said Siddiqui, now a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington. “From a Democratic perspective, it will be very much making sure that the middle class doesn’t bear a disproportionate share of anything.”

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