Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge is continuing to lose support from Republican lawmakers as the deadline for a "fiscal cliff" deal looms.
Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) "knows that all options are on the table in the negotiations taking place,” his chief of staff told the Des Moines Register. Nebraska Republican Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith, Lee Terry, along with Sens. Mike Johanns (R) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) all say they are not bound by the pledge to reject a deal that raise revenues.
“We're screwed either way,” Terry told the Omaha World-Herald, because Republicans will take the blame if no deal is reached and automatic tax hikes set in. “We really have no leverage in these discussions.”
Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), who signed the pledge last year, told the Oneonta Daily Star that he does not envision signing pledges anymore. "I have a record that I'm proud to run on that's pro-growth," he said.
But aside from Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, most Republicans are only willing to generate revenue by closing loopholes and deductions. Despite their willingness to buck the Norquist line, they are not much closer to a deal with Democrats who would like to raise taxes on the rich.