Obama Win Could Force Republican Hand

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President Barack Obama speaks to supporters on September 17, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.   (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks to supporters on September 17, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

CAMPAIGN 2012
campaign 2012 new2 Obama Win Could Force Republican Hand

WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – One underlying theme from President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has been Republicans will be forced to work with him in a second-term. And for the first time, senior Republicans are beginning to agree with President Obama’s presumption.

Senior Republicans told the Washington Post that if President Obama wins in November, they will likely back down from refusing to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

“If the president wins reelection, taxes are going up’ for the nation’s wealthiest households and ‘there’s not a lot we can do about it,’” Rep. Tom Cole told the Post.

The tax cut discussions are coming as lawmakers prepare to leave town Friday and not return until after the November elections, despite the country facing a “fiscal cliff” that could threaten to derail any sort of economic recovery and possibly plunge the country back into a deep recession.

If Romney wins, Republicans said they will push to keep taxes at current levels and work with Romney on his proposed tax cut, along with re-writing the tax code. But if Obama wins, Republicans will likely have to concede tax increases for the wealthy, in exchange for cuts to Democratic priorities.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee told the Washington Post that if Democrats are willing to cut Medicare, then Republicans are more likely to be open to increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Regardless of who wins, legislators in a lame duck session of Congress will have precious time to avert the fiscal cliff set for the end of the year. By not returning until mid-November, Congress will have roughly a month-and-a-half to fix the fiscal problems or take the plunge over the cliff.

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