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.