Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pledges on Spending and Taxes

Politico reports that a new anti-spending pledge has not caught on as fast as its sponsors had hoped:

GOP leaders and rank-and-file members alike have voiced support for the underlying principles of the new pledge, which would require them to oppose hiking the debt limit without first adopting a balanced-budget amendment and other major spending reforms.

But lawmakers are wary of how drafters of the pledge will interpret its meaning and whether the oath will hamstring Republicans amid a crucial round of debt and deficit negotiations with the White House that kicked off this week.

“I think I’ve kind of supported enough pledges,” freshman Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told POLITICO. “I’ve restricted myself too much this Congress.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), one of Sarah Palin’s conservative “Mama Grizzlies” who signed Norquist’s anti-tax pledge while running for election last year, said she wouldn’t ink her name to the new pledge. And she’s not certain she’ll sign any others in the future.

“I support the concepts in their pledge, but what matters most is my pledge to uphold the United States Constitution,” Ayotte told POLITICO. “I’m looking very carefully at all pledges because I want to make sure I support the underlying concepts. People who draft pledges tend to define what they mean differently.”

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, Republican Conference chairman, said much the same: “My only pledge is to the United States of America.”


On The Colbert Report
, Grover Norquist explains the anti-tax pledge that he has persuaded many Republicans to sign: