President Obama plans to meet with a group of Republican senators to discuss options for dealing with the repercussions of the sequester which took effect on March 1. The dinner meeting is set for Wednesday night at the Jefferson Hotel in D.C.
Senators expected to attend include John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN) andPat Toomey (R-PA), among others. It won’t be easy for the President to gain support on certain proposals to addressing the sequester, particularly increasing revenue through tax increases on the wealthy. Here are five senators who will be in attendance who may compromise with President Obama.
Photo via WhiteHouse.gov
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Back in 2012 Sen. Chambliss said during a radio interview that he would disregard the Grover Norquist Taxpayer Protection Pledge and vote for higher taxes—“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.” This wasn’t the first time Chambliss has opposed Republican initiatives—most recently he opposed the filibuster of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation for Secretary of Defense and plans to do the same for John Brennan’s confirmation for CIA Director. Chambliss, who was part of the bipartisan group of six senators who were responsible for reaching an agreement on deficit reduction, wrote in a 2012 op-ed, “Entitlement reform generates heated debates—along with some outright fights—in Congress. This issue is sensitive, yet we must address it and we must successfully reform entitlements if we are ever to reduce the deficit.”
Photo: Bruce Tuten/Flickr
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Despite absurd claims that the U.S. could look like Greece if we don’t take control of our economy, Sen. Graham is in fact seemingly open to compromise. Like Chambliss, he too was a member of the Gang of Six and abandoned Norquist’s tax pledge. “When you talk about eliminating deductions and tax credits for the few, at the expense of the many, I think over time the Republican Party’s position is going to shift. It needs to, quite frankly, because we are $16 trillion in debt,” Sen. Graham said during an ABC interview last year.
Photo: Secretary of Defense/Flickr
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Murkowski has generally been opposed to any type of legislation that doesn’t completely embrace cuts in spending, denouncing any approach that includes tax increases. According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, “Murkowski said spending cuts are unavoidable but the question is how those cuts should be made. She said there must be a balanced approach that includes targeted cuts and an overhaul of the tax code.”
Photos: Lingjing Bao, via Talk Radio News Radio Flickr.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Senator Alexander has often said he does not always plan on voting in line with Republicans if it is not in the best interest of his constituents. In 2012, he said, “We could be more constructive on both sides. I’m not interested in bipartisanship as a goal. I’m interested in it as a tactic to solve problems.” Alexander, alongside the other Republicans on this list, all voted in favor of the fiscal cliff deal early this year that included a tax increase for the wealthy.
Photo: Lingjing Bao, via Talk Radio News Flickr
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Like Sen. Alexander, Sen. Collins claims to not strongly endorse Republican ideology at all costs. During her 2008 senatorial campaign in Maine, Collins stated, “What doesn’t work is drawing a harsh ideological line in the sand.” In 2011, working with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), she supported a plan that would incorporate a 2 percent tax increase for the wealthy.
Copyright by World Economic Forum/Photo by Remy Steinegger via Flickr