By Alexander Bolton - 09/20/12 05:24 PM EDT
Senate Democratic leaders are predicting Tea Party losses in November will push Republicans to compromise on raising taxes after the election.
Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) told reporters that mainstream conservative senators have told him privately they will have more freedom to cut deals after the election.
“We shouldn’t have to wait for an election for the two sides to come together, but for Republicans it might just do the trick,” he added.
Schumer said there has been a group of Republicans in the 112th Congress who want compromise but they have been drowned out by Tea Party-allied conservatives.
“If we keep the Senate and the president wins, and even better if we take the House, the mainstream — there are no moderates — the mainstream Republicans are going to be strengthened, they’ve told me that,” said Schumer.
He said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will be more inclined to strike deals in December and next year after mainstream Republicans gain strength over Tea Party conservatives in the election.
“You’ve seen it happening, we’ve had more bipartisan agreements in the Senate as we’ve all outlined in the last three, four months because their basic strategy of obstructing and not compromising is failing,” he added. “Everything is moving in a direction of us coming together because the obstructionist Tea Party is losing out. They’re losing out in elections and they’re losing out in the caucuses.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted last week the strength of Tea Party-affiliated House conservatives would be much diminished after the election.
"The Tea Party candidates in Illinois never use the word ‘Tea Party’ anymore. They can’t get elected that way. They’re running as bipartisan candidates. They come back, do you think they’re going to revert to Tea Party roots?” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.). “Go ahead and test that Tea Party phrase across America. People despise it. It is just the symbol of obstruction.”