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Thursday, December 9, 2010

DeMint: On Second Thought I'm Not 100% Committed to Filibustering Obama's Tax Compromise

Two days ago, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) went onto the Hugh Hewitt radio show and flat out said that he'd vote no on both cloture and in general votes for the tax cut compromise:

HH: I’ve got some quick questions for you. The first is if the deal reached between the President and the Republican leadership yesterday makes it to the floor of the Senate in substantially the same form, will you vote for cloture to allow a final vote on it? And would you vote for it on that final vote if it cleared cloture?

JD: No.

HH: On both counts?

JD: On both counts.

However, after being blasted by many, including Jennifer Rubin, his office has walked back his previous statement in an email sent to the Washington Post's conservative writer:

Senator Jim DeMint's staff pushed back hard on my post earlier today, insisting DeMint is not really threatening to filibuster the bipartisan tax deal. Spokesman Wesley Denton emailed me, "Senator DeMint has simply stated he does not support the deal as currently structured as it includes huge new deficit spending and death tax hikes. Americans just voted in a historic election for Washington to stop the deficit spending that is mortgaging our children's future." He also defended DeMint's position on the death tax, arguing that "there is no question that raising the death tax from its current rate of zero to 35 percent is a large tax hike that will hurt family farms and small businesses and could destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs." The bottom line seems to be that DeMint will be "open to a temporary extension of all current tax rates without new deficit spending," but he won't give up pushing for the Bush tax rates to become permanent.

So, he is still saying that he's against the compromise, but he just isn't going to commit to the filibuster, just yet. DeMint may very well come around on the fact that this may be the best deal that he can get and still get the bill passed before taxes go up in three weeks. Time is running out, and the escalating pressure of the upcoming deadline will probably be what gets those that aren't so sure about this bill, right now, on both sides, to eventually concede that this is the best thing to do for the country. I would expect DeMint to cave sometime next week, after other Republicans talk to him and convince him to support the bill.

H/T to HotAir's Allahpundit

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