Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

As the expiration of the Bush tax cuts inches ever closer — they are set to expire on January 1st — a number of Republicans are doing everything they can to convince Democrats to keep the tax reductions for the wealthiest Americans around.

Some have suggested a short-term deal that would extend the rates further. But appearing on Fox News yesterday, a top Republican — Sen. John Thune (R-SD) — suggested that enough House Republicans would support an agreement to end these top-tier tax breaks to get the votes to pass the body:


ANCHOR: Are Republicans willing to hold the line, to say to the President, I am sorry, we will never agree to a deal that involves an increase in taxes. Are they?

THUNE: I think any deal that passes up here that raises taxes…is not going to enjoy Republican support. Now, there may be enough Republicans that would vote for something like that to pass it in the House of Representatives, they need to get to 218 votes which assumes they get some Republicans

ANCHOR: Well then it’s done, right?

THUNE: Ai??Well, we’ll see. We don’t know about that.

Watch it (the relevant segment begins at 4:00):

Recall that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) himself previously said that if the “only option” he had was to vote for middle class tax cuts, “of course” he would vote for them.

Democrats should take this as a positive sign and one reason they should not give in to Republican demands to extend the tax rates for the top 2 percent of Americans.