Tax hikes will absolutely not be part of any debt-ceiling and budget deficit reduction deal between the White House and Congress, two top GOP lawmakers say.
"The principle of not raising taxes is something that we campaigned on last November, and the results of the election were that the American people didn't want their taxes raised and they wanted us to cut spending," U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.
"They don't want compromise they want us to balance the budget. They want us to stop mortgaging our children and our grandchildren's futures.
And they don't think they need their taxes raised, and I don't either."
Democrats want to include tax increases in any budget deal tied to raising the $14.3 trillion federal debt ceiling something the U.S. Treasury Department says must be done by Aug. 2 or the United States will default.
Republicans want more than $2 trillion in spending cuts with no tax increases before they'll agree to increase the debt cap.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told "Fox News Sunday" he supported closing tax loopholes and eliminating corporate subsidies, but only as part of a broader plan to cut tax rates. He said he was dead-set against any overall increase in tax revenues.
"Do [Republicans] believe that tax reform is necessary? I would say absolutely," he said.
But the tax-code revamp must not include tax increases, he said.
"I don't mean to be cute about the language, but what I think we ought to do is bring the rates down to make it revenue-neutral," he said. "So as you eliminate these tax expenditures, if you bring the top rates down, that's revenue-neutral. That's not raising taxes."
"Revenue neutral" means the government would not take in any more money from individuals or businesses than it does now.
Cornyn also said there was not enough time to include tax reform in the current talks to create a White House-congressional budget deal before Aug. 2.
But after a deal is struck by July 25 or 26 to give the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office time to analyze the deal and for both chambers to vote on it "it ought to be the first thing we turn to, try to make our tax code more rational," he said. "We could bring down rates, eliminate ... a lot of tax expenditures or loopholes and actually make our nation more competitive internationally."
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told CBS' "Face the Nation" U.S. lawmakers were showing cowardice with the budget.
"Right now, there's not a lot of courage in the Beltway," he said. "We need it. We see it in our states. We see it in our cities. We need to have it in Washington.
Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa agreed, saying lawmakers are creating mental confusion with their social commotion.
"We're dithering with default," said Villaraigosa, a former speaker of the California state Assembly.
"Democrats and Republicans need to figure this out because the people expect them to do that. That's their job," he said. "It would be political malpractice not to balance this budget and raise the debt limit."
And if lawmakers in Washington can't reach a deal before the default deadline, "they ought to submit their resignations," he said.