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Most Republicans Still Not Willing To Deal On Fiscal Cliff

David Weigel catalogs the number of Republican Members of Congress and the Senate who have expressed a willingness to strike a deal on the fiscal cliff, even a deal that includes revenues:

First, here’s the guide I use to judge the deal-ish nature of a Republican: The roll call on the 2011 debt limit compromise. A total of 174 Republicans voted for the final bill, many of whom had pledged not to increase the debt limit. In the Senate, 28 of 47 Republicans voted for it.

The “just pass a deal now that increases top rates” caucus: Tom Cole (OK), Mike Simpson (ID), Bob Dold (IL), Mary Bono Mack (CA). All of them voted for the 2011 deal. And in the House, that’s basically it.

The “pass a comprehensive plan that raises top rates” caucus: Lindsey Graham (SC),Bob Corker (TN). Corker voted for the deal; Graham did not.

On the House side you can probably add a couple other names to the list, such as retiring Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette, but not that many more as far as we can tell from public statements. The House GOP caucus seems to be sticking to the “no-tax” pledge for now. In the Senate, it’s hard to tell who else might join Graham and Corker. Possibly Tom Coburn, but that’s not clear at the moment. It’s also worth noting that, in addition to LaTourette, two of the four people on Weigel’s list, Dold and Mack, will not be returning to Congress in January as they were both defeated in the re-election bids. That tells us that the “let’s make a deal” caucus, to borrow a name, will be even smaller in the 113th Congress.

Now, it’s possible that there are more members of Congress that would be willing to hold their nose and agree to a deal, and likely a larger number who will go along with the leadership if requested to do so. However, it goes without saying that the ability of the House and Senate GOP leadership to negotiate becomes highly constrained if few members of their own caucuses come forward to express support for something that Republicans would consider slightly less than perfect.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Janiah Hoff says:

    It almost makes me think we Americans should set up a system in which the two houses if the legislature pass revenue and spending plans on their own, and work out any differences in a conference committee made up of members each side thinks are especially likely to be trusted by their fellow members. The pres could then say yea or nay.

    Just an idea I have.

    Another idea I have is they could start this in January each year not December.

    Crazy, I know.

    A third one is that we could decide no more debt increases. Got a lot of debt already. Paying it back is hard but we can practice by not borrowing more for starters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  2. tps says:

    Let it burn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    We are going over the Fiscal Slope. When the new congress convenes a tax cut for all below $250,000 will be put forth and passed. Unless the GOP is completely whacko, which is always possible as they have been acting 98% whacko for some time now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Stonetools says:

    Oh well, over the Fiscal Gradient we go….

    It’s going to be hilarious come January 2 when the House Republicans wake up to discover they’ve made a disastrous blunder , and that the whole country will be blaming them for it.
    Unfortunately, those morons will be in power for another two years at least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. An Interested Party says:

    A third one is that we could decide no more debt increases. Got a lot of debt already. Paying it back is hard but we can practice by not borrowing more for starters.

    That’s a brilliant idea…I mean, it’s profound in its genius…since you’re just flowing with the ideas, perhaps you could share what you think should be cut from the budget and what taxes, if any, should be raised so that the government doesn’t have to borrow any more money…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. superdestroyer says:

    The Republicans know that the Democrats will try to screw them on any deal. Any promise to cut spending in any FY except FY13 is an empty promise.

    Passing tax increases now for the promise of spending cuts later is a fools deal for the Republicans. Since the Republicans are trap in that they will get screwed on any deal and will be blamed for the failure of any deal no matter how much they concede to the Democrats, why not just go off the cliff. When all roads lead to failure, take the road that causes the most harm to the other guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  7. Ben Wolf says:

    @Janiah Hoff:

    Got a lot of debt already. Paying it back is hard but we can practice by not borrowing more for starters

    Take a look at Page 2, Table III-B under “Public Debt Redemptions”. Since October 1st we’ve paid back $10 trillion. Since the beginning of 2012 we’ve paid back over $60 trillion.

    Paying the debt is actually very easy. We do it every day.

    https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles?dir=w&fname=12112900.pdf

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: Which is completely different from the pledges to cut spending made when Republicans are in the majority. Oh, wait–when the GOP is in the majority, we are told that the deficits don’t matter because our economic fundamentals are good.

    Sorry! I just lost control there for a second. Go back to your rant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: That should read “in power” not “in the majority.” Sorry. Losing control is very easy at my advanced age.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Janiah Hoff says:

    @Ben Wolf: ha ha. Pay back without getting more at the same time. Paying it DOWN if you prefer but surely you knew what I meant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Janiah Hoff says:

    @An Interested Party: Not too hard for me. Eliminate duplicative programs; get the Feds out of a lot; ObamaCare is history; yes, there is waste in defense; CBO has identified hundreds of billions in duplicative programs – bye; raise SS and Medicare age to at least 70 and soon; get the Feds out of making media and art and NPR and kids TV; sorry UN you are corrupt and useless and we’re out of here; I could go on. Cutting spending would not be hard for me.

    I could of course be much more specific but not on a phone and not unless I feel like it.

    The problem is not an inability to cut. The problem is that people who want to be re-elected are wary of unpopular choices. I would not be because I’ve not been elected to anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. David M says:

    @Janiah Hoff:

    raise SS and Medicare age to at least 70 and soon;

    Good luck with that. Raising the retirement age is a horrible idea, and the Medicare eligibility should be lowered, not raised.

    Anyway, Medicare & SS aren’t really part of our current problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  13. Ben Wolf says:

    @Janiah Hoff: I’m sorry, did we go into debt by $60 trillion to pay it back? No, we didn’t incur any more debt in the process, because government agents type on a keyboard and $60 trillion gets credited.

    We paid back $60 trillion in a single year, so why should we worry about $16 trillion like some massive burden for future generations?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  14. An Interested Party says:

    Not too hard for me. Eliminate duplicative programs; get the Feds out of a lot; ObamaCare is history; yes, there is waste in defense; CBO has identified hundreds of billions in duplicative programs – bye; raise SS and Medicare age to at least 70 and soon; get the Feds out of making media and art and NPR and kids TV; sorry UN you are corrupt and useless and we’re out of here; I could go on. Cutting spending would not be hard for me.

    But cutting substantial spending appears to be hard for you…NPR, PBS, and UN dues, along with that whole “waste, fraud, and abuse” thing count for next to nothing…unless we’re talking about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Defense, we’re talking about very little in the federal budget…and no tax hikes? You expose yourself as an unserious person on this subject…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0