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Bachmann willing to compromise on Bush tax cuts

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Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann said Monday she is willing to compromise on a tax bill in order to provide more certainty to job creators in Minnesota. 

Bachmann said she still wants to make all the Bush-era income cuts permanent, but she would be willing to support a bill that extends the tax cuts for the highest income earners for just a few years if that's what's necessary. 

"These aren't millionaires that we're talking about," Bachmann said in an interview with MPR News. "These are people who are really struggling to keep their businesses afloat. And it will mean not only no increases in salary, it will mean probably cuts in benefit packages for employees as well."

President Barack Obama said it would be fiscally irresponsible to extend the tax cuts for top earners while the country faces huge deficits. 

ON FAILED LEADERSHIP BID

Bachmann said she still expects to have a big impact on the next Congress even though she has withdrawn from a race for a House leadership position. 

Last week, Bachmann dropped her bid to chair the Republican House Conference, the party's fourth-highest position when it's in the majority. House leaders supported another representative for the position. Bachmann said she still has good relations with Republican leaders. 

"I'm not in a leadership role, but that doesn't mean I'm without influence," Bachmann said. "I think that I've had a wonderful open door with the leadership here and I anticipate that we will continue to dialogue and move forward -- because really it's not about anyone's particular position, it's about getting our country working again."

Bachmann started the House Tea Party Caucus. She also set fundraising records for her re-election effort this year. She said all members of the new Republican majority are united in their belief in tax cuts and less federal spending.

ON HEALTH CARE REFORM REPEAL

Bachmann continued her call for repeal of the recently passed health care reform law. She said it should be replaced with legislation that does more to drive down costs.

She also pointed to a growing number of government-granted waivers for companies and unions from parts of the law as evidence of admission of failed policy.

"If you have the government choosing which entities will not be subject to this very harsh constriction of laws and new requirements, that's wrong," Bachmann said. "Everyone should have to abide by the same rules and procedures."

Obama administration officials are granting the waivers to try to prevent some insurers and employers from dropping coverage.

The full interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann will air Tuesday on Morning Edition. It is also available at the top of this page.