The Corner

Thursday Night Lights

Washington — Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) says the tax deal could be taken up “as early as tomorrow.”

Kyl tells us that he’d like to wrap up details about how to move forward today, specifically with regard to amendments. He says members of the GOP caucus have a list of concerns to discuss and potentially bring to the floor.

“If the people have an opportunity to explain themselves [via amendments] — saying ‘I may vote for it, but I really don’t like parts X-Y-Z,’ if they have an opportunity to cast some votes, then I think it’ll be a lot easier at the end of the day to get the votes to pass it. But if you try to jam it — no debate, no amendments, no time to explain yourself — then it could be a lot more difficult.”

“The deal is resolved,” Kyl says. “There is not a question of it being changed. Both leaders will work together to ensure that it has the votes to pass.”

Kyl calls Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) “quite measured” in his opposition to the deal. “He is apparently of the view that he doesn’t want to support the agreement, though he recognizes the beneficial parts of it. I don’t know whether there are others that would agree with him . . . . Almost all Republicans have concerns about some elements of the package, in particular the fact that we’re taking on additional debt by not paying for the extension of unemployment compensation.”

Beyond DeMint, Kyl relays that he hasn’t heard of “any other Republican senators” who oppose the deal.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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