The Corner

ATR and Norquist: A Vote for Plan B Doesn’t Violate the Pledge

Grover Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform, has released a statement declaring that House Republicans who vote for Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” bill, which extends tax rates for all Americans earning less than $1 million a year but not addressing the automatic hikes scheduled for income over that number, would not constitute a violation of its Taxpayer Protection Pledge (emphasis theirs):

ATR has consistently maintained that individual Members of Congress make a pledge to their constituents to oppose and vote against tax increases.  The House this week will vote on a tax bill.  This legislation—popularly known as “Plan B”–permanently prevents a tax increase on families making less than $1 million per year.  Republicans supporting this bill are this week affirming to their constituents in writing that this bill—the sole purpose of which is to prevent tax increases—is consistent with the pledge they made to them.  In ATR’s analysis, it is extremely difficult—if not impossible—to fault these Republicans’ assertion.

In particular, in this Congress the House has already voted twice to prevent any tax increases on any American.  When viewed with this in mind, and considering this tax bill contains no tax increases of any kind—in fact, it permanently prevents them—matters become more clear.  Having finally seen actual legislation in writing, ATR is now able to make its determination about a legislative proposal related to the fiscal cliff. ATR will not consider a vote for this measure a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Robert Costa writes about the thinking behind Boehner’s proposal below.

Patrick Brennan was a senior communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration and is former opinion editor of National Review Online.


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