Cole Sees Makings of a Budget Deal

Photograph by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) at the U.S. Capitol on October 10, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Representative Tom Cole, one of the chief Republican negotiators of a congressional budget deal, said today that he supports raising revenue as part of talks with Senate Democrats.

Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, said that curtailing tax breaks such as the treatment of private equity managers’ carried interest should be part of the negotiations. He also wants to generate money from U.S. companies’ untaxed overseas profits coupled with a revamp of the federal tax code.

“The reality is, you’re going to have to have a deal here,” Cole said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend. “And a deal means everybody gives something up.”

Cole, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, offered an insight into how negotiations could unfold: Any willingness on the Republicans’ part to raise revenues would have to be accompanied by Democrats’ willingness to cut entitlement program spending. Republicans, however, won’t insist on curbing President Barack Obama’s health-care law as a condition to keeping the government open.

The outline of the negotiations getting started next week depends on “how big a deal the Democrats want to do and whether or not we want to cut, or connect this with a larger tax reform issue,” Cole said.

Cole expressed optimism that the congressional budget conferees would be able to reach an agreement by the deadline of Dec. 13 set in legislation that ended a 16-day partial shutdown of the government last week. The conferees were appointed to try to avoid another political collision by ironing out spending differences for 2014 and beyond.

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