McConnell Rules Out Revenue in Tax Reform Deal

By Matt Cover | January 7, 2013 | 3:24 PM EST

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (AP Photo)

( – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ruled out using tax reform to generate new government revenue during a "Meet the Press" interview Sunday, telling host David Gregory “that’s over.”

“Is that your final answer? That the revenue question is solved, done, you won't look at it again,” Gregory asked.

“Yeah, that’s over,” McConnell answered.

Republicans have been adamant that they will not entertain revenue increases now that President Obama has gotten the tax increases he campaigned on via the fiscal cliff deal.

The GOP had hoped for a broader agreement with Democrats that included tax reform, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) saying that Republicans were willing to use tax reform to satisfy Democrats’ demands for higher revenue.

That deal fell through, however, when neither side could agree on how much revenue to raise and how to raise it. Instead, McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden negotiated a deal that made permanent the Bush tax rates for everyone making less than $400,000 per year ($450,000 for married couples).

That deal made no cuts to entitlements or discretionary federal spending, a goal Republicans have said they intend to pursue in the coming months ahead of a necessary increase in the debt limit and the expiration of current government funding.

McConnell said “we’ve resolved” the revenue issue, saying it was now up to the president to lead on the issue of spending cuts.

“We've resolved this issue,” McConnell said.

“And the question is now can we address the single biggest threat to America's future. And that's our excessive spending. I would like for the president to lead. It is a shame that we have to kind of drag him to the table to get him to discuss the single biggest issue confronting the future of our country.”