NJ Rep. Lance: Washington Must Next Act on Jobs

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Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance (R-7) discusses what he's been hearing from his constituents while Congress is in recess and what he expects to happen in Washington in September when Congress reconvenes.

Leonard Lance is a Republican in his second term. He represents the 7th Congressional District. Lance said the major concern he hears across the country is the economy.

I am willing to consider the proposals of the president… my personal view is what we need is certainty in the economy.

He said while he hopes for fewer regulations, it is certainty regarding tax policy, regulation and health care that employers need to create jobs.

I do not favor raising tax rates, but I certainly am willing to examine increases in revenues.

He said he had sponsored legislation to eliminate the ethanol subsidy and would also consider ending subsidies to oil and gas industries, as well as “the corporate jet situation.”

The congressman was clear that he does not think that closing loopholes and ending subsidies is simply a semantically-acceptable route to raising taxes, and that he hopes the super committee puts those strategies to use.

It's charge is one-and-one-half trillion dollars, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do more than that.

The super-committee will be filibuster-proof, which Lance said is a point in favor of it achieving an effective solution.  Yet he agreed that some of his GOP colleagues are unlikely to share his position that closing tax loopholes is deferent than raising tax rates.

I believe in dynamic scoring, that if you do X, Y is likely to occur in tax revenues. The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] does not score dynamically, but many of my colleagues who are in the Tea Party caucus, are in favor of dynamic scoring.

Regarding the Tea Party in general, he said their overwhelming concern is fiscal responsibility, and in his experience meeting with MoveOn.org members, their concerns are the same. 

I think when people actually sit down and speak with each other there is much greater congruity than some of the pundits will suggest.

He denied the narrative that President Obama and Speaker Boehner almost reached a grand bargain on the debt, but the Tea Party caused the deal to fail by pushing unrealistically radical demands. He said while he was not in the room, the version of the story he hears says it was the president who broke the bargain down, by pushing for more tax increases than previously agreed to.

I obviously don’t know whether that is completely factually accurate, but perhaps if we were to go back to what appeared to be the rough agreement between the president and the speaker, that might be an [sic] historic agreement by the twelve members of the committee.