This post has been updated.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) launched a verbal assault on unconventional targets Tuesday, taking aim at Grover Norquist and his highly influential tax policy group, Americans for Tax Reform.
In a speech from the House floor, Wolf accused Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform of complicating the deficit-cutting process with their efforts to encourage Republican politicians to sign onto a "no new taxes" pledge, which has recently stretched far past the issue of personal taxes.
"Everything must be on the table, and I believe how the pledge is interpreted and enforced by Mr. Norquist is a roadblock to realistically reforming our tax code," Wolf said, after first clarifying that he didn't "support raising taxes on the American people."
"Have we really reached the point where one person's demand for ideological purity is paralyzing Congress to the point that even a discussion of tax reform is viewed as breaking a no-tax pledge?"
While Norquist and some Republicans have used ATR's "no new taxes" pledge as the basis for their opposition to eliminating tax breaks to certain industries, a move that Norquist has equated to tax hikes, a number of Republicans broke with their party over the summer and voted to repeal ethanol subsidies. That measure eventually failed.
As The Hill reports, Wolf is one of just six House Republicans in the 112th Congress, out of a total of 242, who have not signed onto the pledge. Reps. Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Todd Platts (Pa.), Rob Wittman (Va.), Rob Woodall (Ga.) and Kevin Yoder (Kan.) comprise the rest of the group.
Norquist has responded to Wolf's comments in a subsequent interview with the National Journal.
“He either doesn’t understand what the pledge is or he is not accurate in how he portrays it,” Norquist told National Journal. “He had a melt-down and a hissy fit and I hope he’ll sober up and get back to the issue of holding spending down, not raising taxes.”
Earlier on HuffPost:
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