But conversations with more than a dozen Republicans — from across the ideological spectrum — tell a different story. Hardly anyone ruled out a tax rate increase on the wealthy.
“I certainly think we have to have an open mind, and that includes any and all scenarios,” Florida Rep. Tom Rooney said of fiscal cliff negotiations, noting that he will support Boehner in his negotiations. “Do I believe that higher taxes on small-business owners will help with jobs? Hell no. We have to find a way forward, or we’re going to have to go back to our constituencies just like last Congress saying, ‘We couldn’t come up with anything for this country.’”
This isn’t only a fear ricocheting through the rank and file. Some higher-ranking Republicans, including South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott, who was elected to leadership for a second term last week, say they know lawmakers look like they could buckle on a million-dollar threshold.
“Oh, absolutely,” Scott said when asked if some of his fellow Republicans will support the increase. “People are actually coming out saying that.” Scott said he would oppose tax hikes even if the threshold is raised.