Quantcast
Connect with us

Grover Norquist confident Republicans will abide by no tax pledge

Published

on

Democrats have welcomed what they say are the first cracks in the Republican party’s long-standing opposition to any tax rises, which Barack Obama has insisted must be part of a deal to resolve the fiscal cliff crisis.

But anti-tax campaigner Grover Norquist, a key figure in the negotiations, predicted that Republican members of Congress would not back down and insisted he would hold them to pledges most of them signed not to raise taxes.

ADVERTISEMENT

In an interview with the Guardian, Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, was scathing about a small group of Republicans who hinted over the weekend that they might break that pledge in order to resolve the crisis.

Over the last 48 hours, senators Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss and congressman Pete King have said they do not feel bound by the Norquist pledge they signed.

Members of Congress returned to Washington on Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday with time running out to resolve the crisis before the 1 January deadline. If no deal is reached, all taxpayers will face rises and huge across-the-board cuts will be implemented, including military and welfare spending.

Norquist portrayed the three Republicans who have broken ranks as being the usual suspects, not representative of the party at large and over-fond of appearing on television.

Norquist, who is a central figure in the fiscal cliff negotiations, predicted these members of Congress did not mark the start of a stampede by Republicans in Congress.

ADVERTISEMENT

He predicted the Republican coalition against tax rises – the majority of Republican members of Congress have signed Norquist’s pledge not to vote for an increase – will hold fast.

“One cannot see into the future,” Norquist said. “But in 2011 the same people were saying the same thing. The Republican party held and the leadership held.”

The promise is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to getting Republicans to support any fiscal cliff deal involving a tax rise.

ADVERTISEMENT

President Obama is insisting that as part of a tax and spending deal to prevent America going over the ‘fiscal cliff’, taxes for the wealthiest need to rise.

Democrats welcomed the comments by Graham, Chambliss and King as offering hope of a deal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dick Durban, a senior Democratic senator, said: “Let me salute Lindsey Graham. What he just said about revenue and taxes needed to be said on his side of the aisle.”

Graham, on ABC, said: “I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform.”

Chambliss told a Georgia TV station: “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.” He added: “If we do it [Norquist’s] way, then we’ll continue in debt.”

ADVERTISEMENT

King, on NBC, concurred, saying: “A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress. … For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have signed a declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today. The world has changed, and the economic situation is different.”

Norquist said the views of these three were not new and the same views had been expressed during the 2010 and 2011 congressional stand-offs.

“First of all, the three said the same thing two years ago. They are trying today to start a stampede over the debt ceiling.”

He added: “These are three guys who like television. But that has not in the past translated into the rest of the party voting with the guys who want on television. Could it happen? Yes. Does history suggest it will happen? No.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Norquist began his no-tax-rise pledge more than two decades ago and has collected the signatures of the bulk of Republican members of Congress.

The pledge says they would “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses”.

Norquist said: “They have made a promise to constituents. If they break it, they can have that conversation with their constituents. It is like someone who cheats on their wife.”

He described the three as having “impure thoughts” but noted that they had not yet acted on them and were only saying they might vote for tax increases. “They might also shoplift, or might rob a bank,” Norquist said.

ADVERTISEMENT

He proposed that during the negotiations C-Span be allowed to cover the behind-closed-doors negotiations and that once a deal is reached, it be printed and made available to the public for seven days before a vote.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012

[Image via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Lawmakers need to step up and stop Trump from ‘killing Americans’ with his ‘incompetence’: Ex-prosecutor

Published

on

On Saturday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner excoriated President Donald Trump's mismanagement of the national health care system on Twitter — and called on elected leaders to "stop letting Trump kill Americans."

Trump’s mixture of incompetence and exploitation for political purposes of our national health emergency is costing lives. The most pressing question at this moment is: at what point do our elected politicians stop letting Trump kill Americans?

— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) April 4, 2020

Continue Reading

2020 Election

How a general strike might play out in the United States

Published

on

The idea that pandemic-related economic insecurity might spur a general strike has been trending among pundits and the public in the past week. Such a labor action, which would imply a complete shutdown of all industries as all workers cease showing up to work, would be historically unprecedented, a prominent historian told Salon.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Pure retaliation’: Former House national security official slams Trump for firing inspector general

Published

on

On Friday evening, President Donald Trump stunned observers by announcing he would be dismissing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who first relayed the whistleblower complaint about Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Daniel Goldman, a national security advisor for the House Intelligence Committee, slammed the decision on Saturday, calling it "pure retaliation" and noting that his only offense was following the law when the president did not.

I saw Michael Atkinson up close. He followed the law with the utmost integrity. He did nothing to lose Trump’s confidence other than lawfully and properly expose Trump’s misconduct and the ensuing efforts to cover it up. This is pure retaliation, retribution and reprisal. https://t.co/GStcTOJn4J

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image