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Published: Saturday, 12/29/2012

Rep. Jordan calls on Senate to pass spending cuts only; Kaptur calls GOP leaders uncompromising

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who heads a Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives, continued to hold out Friday against a proposal that would raise taxes on the rich to avert a huge increase in income taxes in 2013.

Mr. Jordan (R., Urbana) issued a statement again calling on the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass a bill that conservative House Republicans are supporting that cuts spending without raising taxes — a bill that appears to have virtually zero likelihood of passage in the Senate.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) called the Republican leadership in the House uncompromising and unconstructive.

Mr. Jordan repeated his call to the Senate to pass the proposed Averting the Fiscal Cliff Act, which he called “a truly balanced approach” that cuts spending and prevents tax increases on income, savings, and investment. He said the plan is based on House resolutions that passed in August with the support of 19 Democrats.

“The House has done its job by approving bipartisan legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff. Our plan cuts spending and prevents harmful tax increases set to occur in just a few days. Senator [Harry] Reid [D., Nevada, and Senate majority leader] and his colleagues should accept the House-passed plan or approve an acceptable alternative," Mr. Jordan said.

Mr. Jordan’s 4th Congressional District stretches from Champaign County, north of Springfield, to include the northwest Ohio counties of Allen, Seneca, and Sandusky, and parts of Erie and Huron counties.

He is chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a Tea Party caucus, and has crossed swords with his fellow Ohioan, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., West Chester) in the past.

Last week, Mr. Jordan said through a spokesman that he did not support “Plan B,” the plan cobbled together by Mr. Boehner that is aimed at achieving a compromise with Democrats to avoid the ’“fiscal cliff” that will result in pre-2001 tax rates being reinstated.

“Plan B” would raise taxes on incomes over $1 million.

Mr. Boehner was not able to bring Plan B to a vote because of the refusal of conservative members such as Mr. Jordan to support him.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) did not respond to repeated calls and emails from The Blade on Friday.

In an interview last week, Mr. Latta expressed opposition to tax increases, but refused to directly answer whether he would have supported Plan B.

Mr. Latta’s elections since 2007 have demonstrated he has little to fear from opponents to his political left, but he could be threatened by an opponent from the right if he supports any tax increase. In November, he easily defeated an aggressive campaign by Democrat Angela Zimmann, despite refusing to appear in a debate with her.

However, Mr. Latta more narrowly won his first Republican primary to win the seat in the special election of 2007 against conservative Republican Steve Buehrer of Delta. Mr. Buehrer was backed by the anti-tax group Club for Growth that spent heavily on his behalf.

In its ads, the Club for Growth attacked Mr. Latta when he was in the Ohio General Assembly for supporting a 2003 budget proposal that temporarily raised the state sales tax, which it considered to be “the largest tax increase in Ohio history.”

Miss Kaptur said she expects to be in the House chamber Sunday at noon. She said Mr. Jordan and Mr. Boehner appear to be in a political deadlock.

“There is a chance the Senate will be sending us a bill. If it comes to the House, I hope we can put this to rest for the American people. It’s long overdue,” Miss Kaptur said.

But she said she can’t predict what will happen.

“I think the people to ask are John Boehner and Jim Jordan. The Boehner-Jordan split is significant, and it’s the reason Plan B failed,” Miss Kaptur said.

She estimated the Tea Party caucus at between 40 and 70 members.

“They’ve now held up the whole country for their very extreme views, their uncompromising views. At Christmas, the sales weren’t as great. It’s giving a very bad signal to the market. It’s really frustrating the American people beyond measure. They’re performing in a very unconstructive way,” Miss Kaptur said.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.



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