Obama has been making phone calls to rank-and-file Republicans as he seeks a compromise.
As for the key question of whether revenue might be on the table in any budget deal, Collins said she wouldn’t prejudge what should be in a package. She noted that in the past she’s voted for getting rid of tax breaks such as those enjoyed by Big Oil companies. Collins said a key issue for her would be ensuring that tax revenue goes to deficit reduction, not more spending.
But there’s no guarantee Obama’s personal touch will move the needle on a deal.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he expects the president to talk to senators. “Frankly, I wish he’d done more of that over the years. We’ve had, all of us, very limited interaction with the president,” he said.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who hasn’t gotten a call from the president, said the calls won’t net the president any more tax increases.
“I think that our conference and House Republicans are virtually united on the idea that the $1 trillion of new revenue in the president’s health care plan ... and the $650 billion of revenue that he just got should be enough,” Blunt said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.