Now that President Barack Obama has moved a step closer to the budget proposal of House Speaker John Boehner, the GOP leader must convince his rank-and-file to fall into line.
Obama’s latest proposal moves a long way toward the plan Boehner offered last Friday. Obama’s plan would increase tax revenue by $1.2 trillion, and tax rate increases would start at the $400,000 level, as opposed to the $250,000 that Obama had insisted upon for months. And Obama proposes $1.22 trillion in spending cuts.
But the key question is whether whatever plan Obama and Boehner agree on will be acceptable to House conservatives. They are surely happy that Boehner wants to see Obama accept still more spending cuts.
The real numbers for Obama’s latest proposal are $1.3 trillion in tax hikes and only $850 billion in spending cuts, GOP aides tell Politico
In any case, Boehner will have to convince conservatives in his conference that a tax increase is acceptable. Influential Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, exemplifies the difficulty of Boehner’s task. “I’ve been clear on this — we’re the party that says we shouldn’t raise taxes. I’m not for raising taxes,” Jordan tells Politico.
But dozens of Republican lawmakers already back Boehner on the issue, so he feels he’s dealing from a position of strength.
Leaders from both parties have a lot of work to do to bring their troops around, experts say. “They know what’s in the realm of possible, and it’s a question of whether they can take the final step to make a deal work,” Arshi Siddiqui, a former tax aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, tells Bloomberg.
“A big deal is going to be hard to sell on both sides, so it’s going to have to be a well-negotiated deal where both sides make real concessions.”
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