"In addition to those Republicans who have spoken out publicly, there are probably dozens of other Tom Coles in the House who just don't feel free to speak their mind but certainly agree with him privately," Schumer, a New York Democrat, said.
Levin argued the GOP math simply doesn't add up to get significant tax revenue without allowing the current tax rates for the upper income Americans to expire, so they will be forced to come around.
As in previous high level negotiations with the president, House Republicans recognize that they are supporting players, and the final stages of this debate will play out behind closed doors with the president and Boehner.
Boehner "has to see if they can get to a private conversation," said CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen. "The deal has to be cut privately."
But if and when the negotiations get to the point where the president and the speaker start serious horse trading, that may be when significant numbers of conservatives part ways with Boehner.
Right now, there are scant details and many members don't have a lot to shoot at, so they are withholding judgment.
After no direct conversations between the two men for a week, Boehner and Obama spoke by phone on Wednesday, but there was no movement on the main sticking point of tax rates, sources familiar with the conversation told CNN
In previous negotiations over a potential government shut down and the renewal of the payroll tax when information began to leak on the shape of proposals, conservatives felt blindsided about being handed a deal and asked to sign on while staring down a deadline.