Cramer, Hoeven, Berg Say They Oppose Tax Rate Increases, No Word From Heitkamp

heidi-heitkamp

The Obama administration is saying they’ll take the nation over the fiscal cliff unless Republicans agree to tax rate increases, but two of North Dakota’s voices in Congress (and one who will soon be a voice in Congress) say they’re against that.

As for Cramer, he said he is sticking to his promise not to raise taxes – a pledge outgoing Rep. Rick Berg also signed.

“Right now I oppose tax rate increases,” he said. “I don’t think our economy can take it. I was elected on this issue. I feel people expect me to live up to these things.”

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is one of only seven GOP senators who haven’t signed the pledge, but he is against raising income tax rates.

Still, Hoeven added, “I think we can definitely get to a deal.” …

Berg, who lost in a race against Heidi Heitkamp for the Senate seat to be vacated by retiring Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., did not make himself available for an interview Friday, but he issued a statement through a spokeswoman.

“Rick continues to believe that our country has a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” said spokeswoman Katie Pudwill. “To get our country back on track, the path to fiscal stability must include spending cuts and comprehensive tax reform.

Not surprisingly, Senator Kent Conrad has been vocal in his support for raising tax rates.

Someone who has been silent on the issue, and who apparently wasn’t even asked the question by the Fargo Forum is Heidi Heitkamp.

Remember that Heitkamp campaigned as a Republican, and worked about as hard as a candidate could to distance herself from President Obama. The question is, will she side with Obama on dramatic tax increases or stay true to the much more conservative persona she portrayed on the campaign trail?

Rest assured, this lame duck Congress isn’t going to solve this problem. The next Congress will be dealing with it. But so far, Heitkamp isn’t exactly being vocal on how she’ll come down in that Congress.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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