Reporting from Washington — A House Republican tore into powerful anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist on Tuesday, blasting Norquist’s no-tax pledge for “paralyzing Congress” and listing what he labeled “unsavory” associations.
Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform, asks all candidates for office to promise not to raise taxes. In remarks on the House floor, Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf blamed Norquist’s pledge for preventing an open conversation about how eliminating tax credits and deductions could help reduce the deficit.
“Have we really reached a point where one person’s demand for ideological purity is paralyzing Congress to the point that even a discussion of tax reform is viewed as breaking a no-tax pledge?” Wolf said.
Wolf is one of six House Republicans who have not signed Norquist’s pledge, which comes with the threat of political blowback if it is broken. As Congress struggles with ways to cut the deficit, and many in Washington have discussed forging a bipartisan deal that would cut spending and raise taxes, Norquist and his group’s pledge have come under increasing scrutiny. Wolf went after Norquist personally, claiming he had connections to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Internet gambling lobby and Fannie Mae.