Despite the urgency for members of Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff, and their apparent willingness to compromise in order to make it happen, Grover Norquist expects that Republicans will uphold their pledge to not raise taxes.
Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said that he thinks Congress will “punt” the issue and put in place some kind of temporary fix for a year or two, according to Politico
“If you promise you weren’t going to raise taxes and you do, we want to make sure people in your district are aware both that you made the commitment and that you broke it,” he said.
ATR asks all candidates for public office at the state and national levels to sign a pledge promising that they will oppose any effort by a governmental body to raise revenue if they are elected.
The pledge, a contract ATR explains is between the legislator and constituents, requires signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business,” and to “oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
The contract has been signed by 271 members of the current 112th Congress, and 258 members of the 113th Congress, which will take over in January.
Negotiations will start Monday between President Barack Obama and members of Congress for cuts and ways to raise revenue in order to avoid the fiscal cliff set to happen in January — when all of the Bush tax cuts will expire and $500 billion in automatic cuts to the military’s budget will begin to take effect.
Solutions that have been proposed by all sides include allowing the tax cuts to expire only for those in top income tax brackets, closing tax loopholes, and carefully cutting the budget, both military and not. Republicans and Democrats agree that if the automatic changes happen, it could be catastrophic for the economy.
Norquist said he expects that members of Congress who signed the agreement will not vote in favor of anything that raises revenue for the government without also forcing matching decreases in the tax rates.
“One of the reasons I don’t get too worked up is we’ve played this game of chess with the exact same people around the table with the chess board exactly the same,” Norquist said.
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