A CBS News poll finds large majorities of Americans saying they want both parties to compromise rather than hold fast to their positions. Self-identified Democrats, however, embrace compromise more than Republicans do.
GOP strategist Mike McKenna thinks House Republicans took a smart, calculated risk by letting the sequester cuts take place. ‘‘Most people don’t interact with the federal government a lot,’’ he said.
While most Americans support a mix of budget cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit, McKenna said, they realize the payroll tax rose in January, along with the tax on incomes above $450,000.
With the deficit-spending battles apparently cooling for a while, Congress can focus more heavily on immigration, gun control and other issues.
Congressional Republicans say they’re confident that few if any changes will be made to gun laws. As for immigration, most are taking a wait-and-see approach.
Many conservative activists oppose ‘‘amnesty’’ for illegal immigrants. But Republican strategists say the party will struggle to win presidential elections unless it improves its relationship with Hispanic voters, many of whom see immigration as important symbolically and substantively.
House Republicans ‘‘are so caught up in the sequester thing, they’re not thinking four weeks down the road,’’ McKenna said.
For now, they seem content without a grand strategy, and some Democrats are wincing.
Democratic consultant Jim Manley, who confers often with Obama aides, said those aides feel the president used his fiscal cliff leverage to his advantage on Jan. 1. But on the sequester, they concede that Republicans returned the favor and had the upper hand, Manley said.