“At this point I’d be inclined to vote against it, but bear in mind that this bill has not been fully debated in the House yet,” Hayworth told The Observer this morning.
Hayworth’s primary objection is that there have been additional attachments, including extension of unemployment benefits, that increase spending and will drive the deficit deeper.
“This bill contains additional spending with no compensatory spending reduction and we really do need to exert spending discipline,” she said.
At this point, it looks unlikely that Hayworth will get an opportunity to vote on the measure. The Senate is expected to pass a version of the deal today, and the House is expected to follow suit sometime this week. But a number of House Democrats are unhappy about the deal, and there’s at least an outside chance that they push for provisions that scuttle the compromise negotiated by the president, which might carry the bill into the new Congress.
House Republicans have mostly backed the measure, but a number of Republicans, including Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, have spoken out against the deal because of its effect on the deficit.
“I am one of a number of voices who are expressing the desire to readdress this issue more cleanly and directly,” Hayworth said.
The tax deal is being seen by many as the first test of whether Republicans are truly committed to the Tea Party principles that helped elect more than 60 new members last month. Hayworth is one of the many candidates who were supported by the Tea Party, which beat the drum of fiscal responsibility and driving down the deficit. Tea Party leaders have said they intend to closely watch their candidates to see if they stay true to their campaign principles.
“That is going to be our challenge and that is going to be the way in which we are going to be held accountable,” Hayworth said. “We like the tax relief and I do too but we know that you can do better. In consideration of the numbers we have coming into the new Congress we can negotiate a new bill that will provides greater certainty for small businesses and employers and our large employers.”