GOP Super Committee Member Says He Will Protect Entitlements, Consider Closing Tax Loopholes

Fred Upton

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Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), selected by Speaker of the House John Boehner to serve on the joint bipartisan deficit reduction committee, told constituents this week that he would oppose any effort to cut entitlement benefits for current beneficiaries or raise the retirement age.”It’s critical…for people that are benefiting today from Medicare and Social Security, that they do not see benefit reductions,” he said. “It’s awfully hard to tell someone…who might be 82 that they’ve got to go back to work because their benefits are going to be chopped. That’s not going to happen. We’re not going to let that happen.”

Upton, a moderate Republican, also said “tax reform is long overdue,” adding that while he doesn’t think raising taxes on businesses will help with job growth, he would be open to closing loopholes.

“I’m not afraid of looking at tax loopholes,” he said. “I don’t think anybody was happy to see that GE didn’t pay any taxes.”

The 12-member committee has until November 23 to reach $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction — and Democrats are demanding revenue increase be a part of the deal, while most Republicans are opposed to any tax increases.

If Upton is truly on board with tax reform, it will be the most promising sign that this committee can actually reach an agreement.

Watch a video of his remarks via the Kalamazoo Gazette.

[h/t Think Progress]