Shortly after President Obama suggested compromising with the new Congress, the Republican leader in the Senate insisted that the White House would have to shift dramatically right for compromise on taxes.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky vowed in a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation to keep his party’s focus on attacking government spending and rolling back the newly enacted health-care law.
“Our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government,” the Republican said.
On Wednesday, the president extended an olive branch to the Republicans, saying he’d negotiate with them where he felt possible on issues like energy and tax cuts. On Thursday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that making tax cuts “permanent” is not a good idea, leaving the clear implication that doing so on a temporary basis would be possible.
Wall Street was paying keen attention to any talk of a possible deal on taxes, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other benchmarks tracking U.S. stocks rallied.