Senator Blunt for the Deal

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) says he’s for the deal, quipping that it may not be “the best possible deal,” but that it’s “the best deal that’s possible.”

He’s not worried that the super-committee will lead to tax increases, both because he doesn’t think the House (where he was once majority whip) would vote for any and because the baseline the committee will be working with will keep them from being able to use tax increases to raise much money. (He cites today’s Wall Street Journal editorial on this point.)

He isn’t worried about cuts to defense, either, saying, “I don’t think conservatives can say we’ve got to look at everything but defense.” He says that Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) tells him that “you can easily get $600 billion in savings.” While he isn’t sure that’s so, he believes that “everything has to be on the table for a legitimate review.”

“The big win for the tea party today,” Blunt summarizes, “is that the 2010 election has already changed the conversation.” But the ultimate effect of the deal will depend a lot on the outcome of the 2012 election.