Are Republicans Getting Ready To Compromise?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 11 2012 3:02 PM

Are Republican Lawmakers Getting Ready To Compromise?

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Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner told fellow Republicans it's time to abandon the destructive battles of the past two years

Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images

David Axelrod, one of President Obama’s closest advisers said that House Speaker John Boehner had given “encouraging” signs that Republican lawmakers are willing to work with the president to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, according to the Hill. He wasn’t the only one sounding optimistic Sunday. “There is a basis for a deal” on the fiscal cliff, Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told Fox News, reports the Globe and Mail.

A day after Election Day, Boehner held a conference call with House Republicans, saying it was time to compromise with Democrats and avoid the destructive fights of the last two years. Lawmakers on the call “murmured words of support,” reports to the New York Times. It might not seem like much but it’s quite a change from last year when lawmakers were not shy about criticizing Boehner’s suggestion that lawmakers compromise on taxes.

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While the general theme of the Sunday talk shows was that Republicans are “realizing they’re in a weak position on budget negotiations,” as Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall writes, that doesn’t mean they all agree there’s a need to change strategies.

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, for example, said Sunday that he doesn’t agree with Boehner’s assessment that Obama’s health care reform is now the “law of the land.” Price added: “We're not opposed to the president's health care law because of this election, we're opposed because it's bad policy and it's bad for patients all across this land,” reports Politico.

As for the fiscal cliff, analyzing the nuance of previous statements by Boehner and Obama suggest an agreement could involve cutting tax breaks, many of which favor the wealthy. Although Obama has said the wealthy should pay more in taxes he has avoided demanding specifically for a higher tax rate, which Republicans vehemently oppose, points out the Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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