More congressional Republicans are breaking a long-standing pledge to oppose tax increases before returning to Washington on Monday to avert a looming fiscal crisis with a deal that increasingly appears impossible to reach without changes to the tax code.
The decades-old pledge from the Americans for Tax Reform group has been signed by 238 House members and 41 senators in this Congress and has essentially become inescapable for any Republican seeking statewide or national office over recent election cycles, especially in the Republican-controlled lower chamber.
New York Rep. Peter King and Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday they would break the pledge and accept tax changes to generate more revenue to curb the trillion-dollar federal deficit.
I have two reactions…
1) Damn. Do pledges mean nothing to politicians?
2) This is exactly what they are going to have to do. Taxes are going up in January. They will do it in a controlled way or they will do it in an uncontrolled way. If you are Republican member of Congress, you can vote for an increase on high earners giving Obama what he has asked for or you can go over the cliff and see a tax increase on everyone.
The former will be owned by Obama. The latter will be far worse and owned by Republicans.
The bottom line, the GOP is checked. Their only move remaining is a forced move. Elections have consequences.