One of the key figures in the debt ceiling fight, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, lent his seal of approval to Speaker Boehner’s proposal to increase the debt ceiling with two separate spending cuts.
The key for Norquist and his group American For Tax Reform is the plan’s lack of tax increases. The organization’s no-tax pledge, signed by virtually every Republican lawmaker, is their primary means of influence and Norquist has stated that any deal that includes increased tax revenue — even with much larger cuts — would fail the test.
“Here’s the big picture: No tax increase. Real spending cuts. Cuts first and debt ceiling second,” Norquist said in a statement online. “This plan is good for taxpayers, children and other living things.”
Even with Norquist’s seal of approval, it’s unclear whether Boehner’s plan will be enough to satisfy House Republicans, let alone Democratic leaders and the White House. But it certainly helps Boehner’s cause as he struggles to prove he can corral enough of his caucus to pass a debt ceiling increase without having to ask Democratic members for help.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.