Counterrevolution: GOP Elite Revolts Against Tea Party


Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Mainstream Republicans are increasingly nervous about their party’s hard-line stance in the debt limit debate. They think it is likely to backfire, and are blaming the tea party.Wealthy GOP donors have been in contact with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) encouraging him to accept tax increases as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and lower the deficit, POLITICO reports. Cantor is among the most outspoken congressmen in opposition to new revenues, and any shift by him would dramatically change the political calculus of a debt deal.

Meanwhile the Senate, where the Tea Party’s influence is limited to just a handful of lawmakers, has become the breeding ground for a compromise proposal. The bipartisan group of veteran senators known as the “Gang of Six,” released a $3.7 trillion proposal yesterday that would include up to $1 trillion in new revenues.

A poll released by NBC and The Wall Street Journal yesterday shows a growing disconnect between Tea Party Republicans, and the rest of the electorate over tax increases and whether to raise the debt ceiling.

Outside of Congress, party insiders are growing concerned by the combative stance adopted by the House of Representatives’ “default caucus.” 

“I’m embarrassed to be a Republican,” a GOP “don” told POLITICO’s Mike Allen. “These guys don’t understand capital markets. This isn’t about who wins an election. This is about whether people are going to be able to finance a house.”

Democrats have already agreed to spending cuts, even to entitlement programs. If Republicans meet them halfway — or even part of the way — then a debt ceiling deal is in reach.

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