The numbers of so-called Republican defectors are rising as dozens of lawmakers break ranks with their more conservative party members to find common ground with the White House on raising taxes and cutting entitlements.
The Republicans signed a letter stating that they would consider all options, signaling that they are finally ready to bargain.
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Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho said he would be willing to raise tax rates on those making over $500,000 per year if the Democrats would rein in some of the spending on Medicare.
Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma is urging the extension of all current tax breaks for the middle class.
The fact that President Obama was reelected is causing the defectors to realize the stronger negotiating hand of the President.
The letter is bipartisan and was signed by 80 lawmakers, one-half of whom are Republicans and one-half of whom are Democrats.
Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio said he could get the 218 votes needed to send the measure to the Senate if about 120 House Democrats will agree to cut entitlements.
The heretofore hardline Republican front began crumbling last week when Cole said that the current tax laws should be extended for 98% of Americans and allow them to expire for the highest earning 2%.
So far, House Speaker Boehner has not publicly indicated any change in position
on raising taxes.