Some conservative House Republicans are making life difficult for Speaker John Boehner as he reaches for a "fiscal cliff" pact with President Barack Obama. They insist they will oppose any deal that increases taxes.
Other conservatives, however, are giving Boehner room to negotiate. They say they might accept a tax increase for people with high incomes so long as the deal also includes significant spending cuts.
Those different views after G-O-P setbacks in last month's election are testing conservatives' leverage in influencing any deal.
If there's no agreement, Americans face paying a lot more taxes next year with the expiration of President George W. Bush's tax cuts. A bevy of government programs, including the defense budget, also will be slashed by 8 or 9 percent.