“The Pledge’’ — the no-nonsense commitment scores of Republicans have signed over the years never to raise taxes — took another major hit Monday as Tennessee Senator Bob Corker became the latest GOP powerhouse to turn his back on it.
“I’m not obligated on ‘The Pledge,’’’ Corker told Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning.
“The only thing I’m honoring is the oath that I take when I’m sworn in this
That won’t sit well with Grover Norquist, creator of “The Pledge,’’ that he has had some 219 House members and 39 senators sign over the years.
Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, has been seeing his once rock-solid agreement eroding quickly among its scores of Republican backers.
Last week, Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss snubbed Norquist, telling WMAZ-TV: “I care more about my country than I do a 20-year-old pledge. If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt …’’
Corker told Rose that Congress is hard at work dealing with the nation’s looming fiscal cliff.
“What it takes is political courage," said Corker, who has drafted a bill to slash an estimated $4.5 million from the deficit, which includes $1 trillion from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
"I don't know a Republican who has written a bill that has a trillion dollars in revenue ... but it's coupled with real entitlement reform," he said.
He added that both parties must work together and “the easiest and best thing we can do is rip the Band-Aid off, make the tough decisions."
Other influential GOP voices appearing to back off Norquist’s pledge include South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Arizona Senator John McCain.
Norquist appears to be sticking to his guns in insisting his no-tax pledgers stay the course.
On CNN Monday, he bristled at New York Representative Peter King, who has also said he’s willing to break the agreement.
“[King] knows full well that the pledge that he signed and other have, is for while you’re in Congress,’’ Norquist said, adding that any attempt to suggest otherwise, “doesn’t pass the laugh test.’’
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