The president's tax cut compromise passed pretty easily in the Senate this week but the bill's fortunes in the House appear far less certain. On Friday, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer started the push against the bill, labeling it a "second stimulus." Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney have also followed suit. At the beginning of this debate, conventional wisdom held that Republicans finagled the best deal with Congressional Democrats left in the cold. Would the Republicans really torpedo this tax-break package?
- This Is Not Looking Good, writes Allahpundit at Hot Air:
With House progressives in revolt, Obama realistically needs all of the Blue Dogs and almost all of the GOP to push this thing through, but I don't know how much longer House Republicans can hold on. Granted, Paul Ryan, Grover Norquist, and Freedom Works are in favor of the deal, but a whole lot of conservative rock stars on the right are now against it--from Pence to Palin to Bachmann to talk radio to grassroots outfits like the Tea Party Patriots. How many House liberals are willing to bite the bullet and vote yes for Obama’s sake to replace defecting votes on the GOP side? The whole thing’s starting to remind me of the amnesty bill in the Senate in 2007
- It's Not in Either Side's Interest to Blow the Deal, adds Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:
At this point, both sides have to seriously ask themselves: Who gets a better deal if the compromise framework collapses? Republicans know that Democrats--and Obama in particular--have more to lose if the economy takes another hit. The president said as much at his news conference. But they also know the tax deal is popular, and if they blow it up over something unpopular, like cuts for the very richest Americans, the public might turn on them. It's not an easy calculus, for either side.
- I Bet It Will Pass "It's clear Democratic leadership will let the bill come to the floor," writes Daniel Foster at National Review, and it "looks like it could pass more or less untouched, with a TARP-like agglomeration of Republicans and Democrats voting in favor, with stalwarts left and right opposed.
- I Feel Like Conservatives Will Desert, writes Jonathan Bernstein at A Plain Blog About Politics:
I can't help but think of two other times when a consensus deal came undone when House Republicans deserted at the very last moment: the George HW Bush/Jim Wright deficit cutting deal, and the first TARP vote. In both cases, when push came to shove, Republican Members of the House revealed that the one risk they weren't willing to take was breaking with movement conservatives.
- Conservatives Want to Destroy the Economy to Boost Their Election Prospects, writes a conspiracy-alert Jonathan Chait at The New Republic:
Notice that neither Romney nor Krauthammer quite say that the growth-boosting effects of the deal are a reason to oppose it. Rather they argue that the higher growth isn't worth the budgetary cost, making it surely the first time either one of them has rejected a debt-financed tax cut on the basis of its effects on the national debt. It will be interesting to watch anti-deal Republicans try to make their case by hinting at electoral ramifications without coming out and saying so directly.