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Cracks Begin to Appear in House GOP Stance as Possible Deal Forms

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

“Republicans are NOT PLAYING THIS RIGHT,” Wright wrote, quoting the constituent. The email was sent to staffers for Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), aides to the conservative Republican Study Committee and aides to a number of members of the House Armed Services Committee.

“Working people and SENIORS ARE BOTH UPSET ------- it’s the seniors’ opposition that will hurt GOPers most,” Wright wrote, adding in an email that the woman’s views represented “a lot of current and retired federal government workers” in Bartlett’s district.

Meanwhile, two freshman House Republicans called on their leadership to compromise and pass the two-month payroll tax cut extension, showing that the GOP class that adamantly supported fighting the Senate’s short-term plan may come around to it after all.

Rep. Rick Crawford (Ark.) sent a letter to Boehner calling for a vote on the two-month extension, while Rep. Sean Duffy (Wis.) issued a statement calling for “GOP Leadership to immediately bring up the Senate’s two-month extension for an up or down vote.”

“I’ve said all along I’d be willing to support a two-month payroll tax cut extension if that was our only option. The Senate’s refusal to work with the House to hammer out the differences in our bills before Christmas has left us with few other options,” Duffy said in the statement. “Middle class families deserve a Congress that will rise above the squabbling and ensure their taxes don’t go up right after Christmas.”

In a strongly worded letter to Boehner, Crawford, who as recently as Tuesday issued a statement calling the Senate’s bill “irresponsible,” wrote that his Arkansas constituents want Congress to work together.

“We are now in a position that requires all options to be on the table, that requires Republicans to not only demand a willingness to compromise, but to offer it as well,” Crawford wrote. “More often than not an ‘all or nothing’ attitude produces nothing. An ‘all or nothing’ attitude is not what my constituents need now. My constituents need a Congress that is willing to put all options on the table, even those that are not yearlong plans, to avoid higher taxes on more than 160 million Americans.”

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