> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Fresh off his victory over Shelli Yoder, U.S. Rep. Todd Young is setting his sights on tax reform, regulatory codes and the looming fiscal cliff as he prepares for his second term in Congress.
Young has been tabbed to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is charged with writing trade and tax policy as well as overseeing potential changes to programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
Young said serving on the committee will provide him the opportunity to propose eliminating certain tax cuts and provisions. He added he’s in favor of reducing some tax rates.
Tax rates are at the center of the fiscal cliff debate, as President Barack Obama continued to support Friday allowing Bush-era tax cuts for households earning $250,000 or more annually to expire, while extending the breaks for middle income families.
Congressional Republicans largely disagree with the president’s plan, as well as his latest proposal to raise revenue through $1.6 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years. Hanging in the balance is the national debt limit and a rise in taxes if the Bush-era cuts are not extended by the end of the year.
“In Washington, nothing’s easy so there is going to be some prolonged negotiations and all of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen,” Obama said Friday according to an Associated Press report.
“I’m willing to do that. I’m hopeful that enough members of Congress in both parties are willing to do that as well.”
However, Young, a Republican first elected to the House in 2010, questioned Obama’s plan including a call for $50 billion in additional stimulus spending. Republicans have accused Obama of presenting a plan that’s definitive when it comes to tax increases but lacks details on means to reduce spending and the deficit.
Republicans have also said the president’s plan would further hamper the economy with tax increases and uncertainty.
“There’s no commitments whatsoever on getting our spending under control,” Young said Friday.
Though like him Obama won re-election in November, Young said the president doesn’t have “much of a mandate” from the American people to push for more stimulus spending and reject measures to balance the deficit.
Young said time is running out for Obama to reach a compromise that could ward off another recession.
“The president needs to lead so that we can come to some agreement and he needs to do it quickly,” he said.