Graham: ‘I Will Violate the Pledge’

by Patrick Brennan

On ABC’s This Week, Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin discussed the fiscal cliff and the possibility of a bipartisan deal on tax increases and spending cuts. Graham repeatedly indicated to host George Stephanopoulos that he is open to raising revenues, though not through raising tax rates, saying, “I will violate [American for Tax Reform's] pledge for the good of the economy.”

Stephanopoulos pushed Graham about the possible consequences of that maneuver, quoting a threat from Grover Norquist about whether senators who are considering violating the pledge “like being senators.” Graham responded that, “I love being a senator, but when you’re $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge you should be making to each other is not to end up like Greece.” He noted that “we’re below historical averages” of revenue, and would “tell Grover Norquist that the sequester destroys the United States military.”

He emphasized, however, that it would have to be a quid pro quo deal, and since Democrats’ promised spending cuts rarely actually happen, they’d have to come in the form of entitlement reform, defending the ideas of raising retirement ages and reforming Social Security in the face of objections by his ostensibly reform-friendly partner Dick Durbin.

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