TN Senators Speak Up as GOP Reps Keep Options Open

Its no surprise Tennessee’s senators are the ones going out on a limb and talking specifics about what they could live with in a fiscal cliff deal. A Vanderbilt political science professor says they won’t be the ones making a tough vote.

After laying out his own plan to dodge the fiscal cliff, Republican Senator Bob Corker has gained particular notoriety for his willingness to raise taxes on the top two percent of Americans. Senator Lamar Alexander has said he would go along too.

But Professor Josh Clinton – who studies the U.S. Congress – says it’s a little easier to make concessions in the upper chamber, where the GOP is the minority. It might not matter whether they vote for or against any deal.

“The real fight is going to be in the House, kind of, not the Senate. You don’t want to stick your neck out in terms of something that’s still being worked out by all the big players in Washington D.C. and try to get ahead of that because that could put you in an uncomfortable position, one way or the other.”

Only a handful of House Republicans have agreed in principal to higher taxes. One is Tom Cole of Oklahoma. This week Brentwood Congressman Marsha Blackburn appeared side-by-side with him on CNN to argue against raising any tax rates.

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