The Senate is all but certain to pass the big tax deal reached between President Obama and Republican leaders, but the deal's future in the House is shakier. While Democrats opposed to the package appear resigned to its passage, anti-deal Republicans are getting increasingly vocal: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and the Tea Party Patriots, among others, say the agreement delivers "short-term economic stimulus" — which could help Obama get reelected — without really addressing the country's long-term needs. Will House Republicans take note and scuttle the bill? (Watch a Fox Business report about the opposition)

Romney makes this a real fight: Some Republicans were already restless about the compromise, says Jon Ward in The Daily Caller. Now "Romney's bombshell" announcement opposing the deal gives their concerns an air of "serious and substantive conservative thinking," and could easily "spur broader opposition" among Republicans in Congress. It wouldn't take many defections to sink the bill, either.
"Romney announces opposition... blow to GOP's united front"

But the GOP votes are set: Romney swaying House Republicans? "Oh, puleez," says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. "Wishful conservatives" will hold out hope, but the idea that Romney will "pull away House votes" is, "frankly, silly." Republicans with their eyes on 2012 can posture, but "a broad cross-section of Democrats and Republicans will pass the agreement."
"Right Turn saw that coming"

So will the Tea Party abandon the Republicans? If a handful of post-election slights have been "a slap in the face" to deficit-hawk Tea Partiers who fueled the GOP's November win, this tax deal is "a haymaker to the jaw," says Alex Altman in Time. The best hope for Republicans? "After months of Tea Party vows to hold the GOP's feet to the fire, there may be enough blame to go around that no one actually gets burned."
"Will the Tea Party punish GOP for the tax-cut deal?"