Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's threat to let steep cuts hit the Pentagon seems to be working, as some staunchly anti-tax Republican Senators appear to be warming to revenue increases. The Democratic leader's high-stakes gambit materialized last month when he vowed to let $600 billion in automatic defense cuts go into effect unless Republicans agree to revenue increases. Republicans initially balked at the threat, saying Reid's brinkmanship would gut the nation's defenses and slash tens of thousands of private sector jobs. But remarkably, some Republicans, including hard-right members of Congress, are starting to buckle under the specter of widespread defense cuts.
Traveling with Senator Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, The New York Times' Jonathan Wiessman said the senator is now "openly talking about revenue increases to offset the costs." Shrugging off the "no new taxes" pledge enforced by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, Graham said “I’ve crossed the Rubicon on that.” And he's not alone. According to the Times hard-right members of the House, including Reps. Mick Mulvaney, Joe "You Lie!" Wilson and Jeff Duncan have also said they're willing to talk revenue increases.