Yesterday, the Senate resoundingly voted to end debate on the last minute tax compromise negotiated by Repubican congressional leaders and the President. Senators will cast their final votes on the measure today and, if the 83-15 majority from Monday’s vote holds, it will pass easily. The next step: rounding up House Democrats upset over Obama’s willingness to continue current tax rates at all levels for two more years.
But is that the only problem? Ezra Klein offers an interesting commentary, suggesting that the main obstacles to the bill in the House may actually come from the right:
The problem is that conservatives are starting to wonder if the tax deal is such a good deal for them. Charles Krauthammer opposes it, and “the Tea Party Patriots” are comparing it to TARP. Erick Erickson, founder of RedState.com, says the “deal must now die,” and Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin agree with him. If the deal gets opened back up in the House, expect conservative grumbling to turn into open revolt, which could scotch approval when the deal then goes back to the Senate.
Democrat leaders have struggled to move their party past issues of ideological purity in order to accept a very reasonable and urgently needed compromise. It remains to be seen whether their Republican counterparts will be willing (or even need) to do the same.