ALGONA, Iowa — The latest Republican to vacillate on Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge was found yesterday in rural western Iowa, where Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a town hall that although he’d signed the pledge, he didn’t know what he would do if taxes were cut too much.
King was pressed by Algona resident Blair Redenius on why Congress continues to give tax breaks for the wealthy during a time of war. Redenius’ son served three tours in Iraq. After King defended the Bush tax cuts, Redenius noted that the Iowa congressman had signed Norquist’s pledge.
Though nobody’s idea of a moderate, King showed surprising sensibility on the issue of taxes. “I signed this pledge, but what do we do when we get taxes down to where they need to be?” King asked. “At some point we’re going to cut taxes too much. What’s the answer then?”
REDENIUS: One I know you signed is the Norquist pledge, no new taxes. If President Bush would have raised effort for the war effort, would you have voted for that?
KING: [...] I don’t know if I would have or not. I would have to look at the configuration of it and see what it would have been. But I talk to Grover Norquist and I told him this: I signed this pledge, but what do we do when we get taxes down to where they need to be? At some point we’re going to cut taxes too much. What’s the answer then? I’m thinking about that. I haven’t made a public statement on that. That’s as far as I’m willing to go on that.
Still, Redenius remained unconvinced that King would actually break his pledge to Norquist. “I felt he wouldn’t have voted for it because he signed that pledge,” Redenius told ThinkProgress. “The only pledge he should take is the one when he takes office.”
King is just the latest Republican to waver on Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Others include Reps. Timothy Johnson (R-IL), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Pennsylvania state Rep. John Bear.