Earlier this month, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) disavowed the anti-tax pledge promulgated by the virulently anti-tax Grover Norquist and his organization, Americans for Tax Reform. Though he had signed the pledge, which says that any increase in revenue must be offset with a corresponding tax cut somewhere, Fortenberry said that he “informed the organization I don’t consider (the earlier pledge) binding.” “I don’t care to be associated with it. It’s too constraining,” he added.
Yesterday, Norquist lost another devotee in Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), who told the Lafayette Daily Advertiser’s editorial board that “though he would not vote to increase taxes, he would not again sign a pledge binding him to not do so”:
Boustany, like more than 230 of his peers in the House of Representatives, signed lobbyist Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”
“I will not sign another pledge,” Boustany said. “We have to have the flexibility to do the right thing for American people.”
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has also clashed publicly with Norquist for promulgating “the ludicrous argument that eliminating tax earmarks is a tax increase.” Last week, Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND) faced a backlash at one of his town halls over his support for Norquist’s pledge. “You work for North Dakota residents, not some guy from another state,” West Fargo resident Don Frost told Berg.