Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va). Flickr.
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Virginia Republican Congressman Frank Wolf's voting record puts him solidly in the ideological middle.
But he has been willing to buck his party on some things.
Wolf is one of just six House Republicans who have refused to sign Grover Norquist's no tax pledge. And he's one of just 38 in either party to vote for the Simpson-Bowles budget plan.
Wolf fears even if there is a deal to avoid the cliff, it won't be anywhere near as good as the sweeping tax hikes and entitlement cuts outlined in Simpson-Bowles Commission bi-partisan budget deal. "The real cliff is not even being talked about," he says.
He predicts a shallow deal will doom the economy within six months. "At that point, you could see interest rates soar. The stock market drop. Moody is threatening to downgrade us."
Wolf's packing up his office. Seventeen terms have earned him better space, a subcommittee chairmanship, and a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee. "You have a powerful voice here, what are you doing to bring a majority of House members along?" I asked him. "Everything you need to do.""So would you support allowing the Bush tax cuts to lapse on the top two percent." "It's like you didn't read my editorial. I support Simpson Bowles. I support putting everything on the table. Look at the definition in Webster's. Everything is everything."
Wolf had just come from a meeting with Bowles. And he's proudly framed a USA Today editorial that singled him out as one of just 16 Republicans and 22 Democrats who voted for a budget based on Simpson Bowles -- despite the pain it would inflict on both sides.
"You may have embraced it...." I said. "May have," he interupted. "You should know if you're a big news guy. You embraced it, but a majority didn't. But the President had an opportunity to lead and he didn't do it."
Wolf says if the President had endorsed Simpson Bowles, he could have changed the country. "The President has failed. President Obama has failed. And the history books will write it."
Still plenty of partisan tough talk there.
We've been asking all the politicians whether they would be willing to give up pay and vacation until they get this done. Wolf said sure.
He says that's a whole lot less sacrifice than we're asking of our troops in Afghanistan.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com