The Hill, 10/3/7

Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said he would “probably” whip Senate Republicans against the so-called Blackstone bill that would raise taxes on publicly traded hedge fund and private equity firms.

The Mississippi Republican said there were “legitimate questions” surrounding the taxation of hedge fund and private equity firms that go public, but he argued that raising taxes on them would be counterproductive.

Lott’s comments notwithstanding, one lobbyist doubted that many Republicans would vigorously oppose the tax increase because it will hit so few firms in an industry that has drawn bad publicity and has a record of giving to Democrats. The lobbyist said his view was reflected in Lott’s qualified response when asked about whipping against the bill: “It was not the answer the private equity lobbyists would hope for.”