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Published: Saturday, 12/22/2012

Latta, Jordan join backlash against Boehner’s plan; lack of support from GOP spurs speaker to drop proposal

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

The two Republican congressmen who represent northwest Ohio appeared to be among the members of their party in the U.S. House who refused to give their votes to the proposed tax increase on incomes above $1 million that was advanced by Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and then retracted for lack of support from his own caucus.

“With time running out to prevent tax hikes on every American taxpayer, inaction from Senate Democrats and the administration on the fiscal cliff will cause the largest tax increase in American history and jeopardize the economic recovery our country so desperately needs,” U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Latta did not answer clearly yes or no when asked if he supported Mr. Boehner’s “Plan B,” the name given to Mr. Boehner’s proposed deal with President Obama to avert a combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts that will start on Jan. 1, but he appeared to have rejected it.

“Earlier this year, I supported legislation that passed the House that would prevent tax rates from rising on all Americans. During the discussions on the fiscal cliff, I still support legislation that would protect America’s taxpayers,” he said in a statement released through his staff.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Urbana), who represents Ohio’s 4th District, was not supportive of “Plan B,” his spokesman told The Blade.

“The first and only focus of Congress should be creating jobs and growing our economy. Higher taxes don’t create jobs. The best way to get our economy moving again is a balanced approach of spending cuts and private-sector economic growth sparked by keeping tax rates low,” Mr. Jordan said, according to a prepared statement.

Mr. Obama’s solution to the fiscal cliff originally called for a boost in taxes on incomes over $250,000 for a family, but he later raised that threshold to $400,000.

Mr. Jordan pointed to a new bill, the Averting the Fiscal Cliff Act, that combines spending and tax cut measures that have been adopted by the Republican-controlled House.

Mr. Jordan said the bill “represents the only truly balanced approach to Washington’s so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ mess.” “I urge its swift adoption by the House, Senate, and President Obama,” he said.

Mr. Latta, who represents Ohio’s 5th District, made a similar appeal for Democratic support of legislation that Democrats have said they oppose. “To protect American jobs and address our current economic situation, it is critical that we work together toward a responsible path, which includes federal spending cuts and real tax reform, to avert the fiscal cliff. I am ready to remain in Washington throughout the end of the year to ensure we do not go over the fiscal cliff,” he said.

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



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