By Meghashyam Mali - 12/31/12 03:57 PM EST
“I'm working with all of the folks trying to defend taxpayers here in Congress in the House and Senate,” said Norquist. “I don't think you will see something that actually raises taxes. We may get some tax cuts now and have to fight for others later.”
Norquist said the GOP held leverage to extract further concessions from Democrats.
“Republicans have the clout of the debt ceiling increase, which they effectively used a year and a half ago, and the continuing resolution, where they can dole out money slowly to Obama and the Democrats to spend while reining it in,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Biden continued negotiations late Sunday night to strike a deal before midnight.
Lawmakers and the White House are looking to avoid the tax-rate rises and across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect in 2013.
Republicans initially insisted that all current income tax rates be extended, despite President Obama’s call for higher rates on the wealthy. But as the deadline nears, GOP lawmakers have said they will back a deal that hikes tax rates on wealthy earners.
Reid has proposed extending the current tax rates for families with $450,000 or less in annual income and individuals who make $360,000 or less. Republicans have countered with a proposal to set the threshold at $550,000 for families and $450,000 for individuals.
Rep. Tom Price (Ga.) on Monday predicted the House would pass a bill along those lines.
Norquist last week backed Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) controversial “Plan B” proposal which would have extended rates for 98 percent of taxpayers.
Boehner said that the plan would place pressure on Democrats to come to the table with spending cuts. But a vote on the plan was canceled after leaders realized there was not enough support within the GOP caucus to pass the measure.