The influential conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist on Monday passed judgment on House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to raise taxes next year on those earning more than $1 million a year — saying he wants to see more details before commenting on it.
“It’s a piece of the puzzle, and we’re only seeing one piece,” Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, told Politico. “I refuse to get excited one way or the other.”
Lawmakers, many of them Republicans, have signed Norquist’s “no new taxes” pledge, but several GOP lawmakers have since openly contemplated the issue as Boehner and President Barack Obama negotiate a deal to avert the fiscal cliff scheduled to begin at the end of the year.
The men met privately on Monday — and Obama, proposed raising tax rates on incomes above $400,000, up from $250,000, as part of a counteroffer to Boehner, a source familiar with the talks told Politico. The proposal has a value of about $2.4 trillion.
Such discussions, however, should be public, Norquist said.
“This is why I think everything should be on C-SPAN, so we don’t have one side or the other leaking a proposal,” he told Politico. “Boehner would be well served if this was happening in front of C-SPAN cameras so his proposals wouldn’t be interpreted by Harry Reid.”
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