Lawmakers should be focused on representing their constituents rather than adhering to pledges like the one from Americans for Tax Reform, according to one Republican Pennsylvania legislator.


"I never sign tax pledges. I just don’t," State Rep. John Bear told Think Progress.

"I don’t believe in signing tax pledges and giving that authority to any outside group," he added. "The constituents of my district elected me. Do I want to tax increases? No. But I have to do what’s right and what’s fair at the time given the circumstances. I just feel like these all-or-nothing tax pledges, it just doesn’t, I just don’t believe in that, so I haven’t signed it."

Democrats have blamed anti-tax pledges for creating gridlock in Congress.

Nearly every Republican in Congress has signed ATR’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, vowing to oppose any and all tax increases. Only 14 Republican members of 112th Congress have refused to sign the pledge.

Thirty current Pennsylvania state representatives and four Pennsylvania state senators have signed the pledge.

“By making this commitment to their constituents, they clearly recognize that in light of the hundreds of billions in higher federal taxes to come out of Washington, D.C. in recent years, the last thing that Pennsylvania taxpayers need is for lawmakers in Harrisburg to pile on more job-killing tax increases at the state level,” ATR president Grover Norquist said in a statement.