“I think the president’s probably going to get his way,” the Georgia Republican said to members of the state Legislature on Sunday.
Chambliss said that based on his experience in the House and Senate, he believes a deal will be struck at the last moment. He said negotiations in Washington usually don’t gel until a deadline approaches, such as the coming Christmas vacation.
State lawmakers met at the University of Georgia on Sunday for issue briefings as the Jan. 14 start of the legislative session nears.
Chambliss is a leader in the Gang of Six, a bipartisan group of senators who crafted proposals for deficit reduction. He said Boehner’s negotiating stance draws heavily from work done by the group.
When Chambliss listed the group’s goals, the legislators applauded the first: cutting federal spending. The largely conservative crowd didn’t make a peep when he mentioned the other two: reforming programs such as Medicare and raising federal revenue.
Chambliss has drawn criticism from conservatives for saying he is no longer bound by a pledge he signed as a candidate 20 years ago not to raise taxes. He and the Gang of Six are calling for eliminating most tax credits and deductions.
“When I said that I had a problem with the pledge, it had nothing to do with me wanting to raise taxes, but it had everything to do with the fact that I know we’ve got to begin paying down that (federal debt),” he said. “I’m not going to have some lobbyist in Washington tell me, ‘Here’s the way you’re going to do it.’ ”