Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) on Monday called for Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress to come together in a “joint whipping operation” for the good of the country.
During an interview on MSNBC, the number three Democrat in the House told host Andrea Mitchell that now that many Republican had indicated a willingness to violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and raise revenues, lawmakers were on a path toward dealing with budget deficit.
“I saw [House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor on this network this morning and I was very pleased with the fact that says he will respond to his constituents rather than to Grover Norquist,” Clyburn explained. “And I think that you will find from Democrats that we want to take a look at things that we can do to Medicare and Medicaid, means testing.”
Mitchell wondered if was possible for Democratic leadership to work with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to encourage enough lawmakers to pass a budget deal, a process known as “whipping votes.”
“We’ve always been willing to do that,” Clyburn explained. “This is the kind of issue — and I don’t mean this sort of the way it sounds — and jump over the cliff together or pull back together.”
“Let’s join hands, let’s have a joint whipping operation,” he added. “Let’s come up with 300 or 400 votes on this issue, which I think we could do.”
Earlier on Monday, Norquist insisted that that none of the Republicans who had been having “impure thoughts” would actually break his Americans for Tax Reform pledge and vote for additional revenue in a deal to cut to Medicare and Social Security.
“No pledge-taker has voted for a tax increase,” he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien. “They’ve had some people discussing impure thoughts on national television.”
But Norquist said that senators like South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham would never go through with a deal to “trade a tax increase for a pink unicorn that doesn’t exist.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, broadcast Nov. 26, 2012.