Republican Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia on the House floor Tuesday attacked Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge, which has been signed by nearly every Republican in the House and Senate.
“My conscience has compelled me to come to the floor today to voice concerns I have with the influence Grover Norquist, the president of the Americans for Tax Reform, has on the political process in Washington,” said Wolf, one of only six Republicans in the House to have not signed the pledge. “My issue is not with ATR’s goal of keeping taxes low.”
Those who sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge vow to oppose any and all tax increases.
“My concern is with the other individuals, groups, and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low,” Wolf continued.
He cited Norquist’s relationships with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian, and his ties to Fannie Mae and the Internet gambling industry.
“Simply put, I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with or has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream,” the congressman said.
“I also believe Mr. Norquist has used the ATR ‘pledge’ as leverage to advance other issues many Americans would find inappropriate, and when taken as a whole, should give people pause.”
Wolf added that the anti-tax pledge — which demanded “ideological purity” — had paralyzed Congress so much that even discussion of tax reform was in gridlock.