Sen. Coburn: Norquist ‘old news’


The days Grover Norquist’s sway over Republican Party tax policy — and by default, American tax policy — may be over.

A bill, introduced by Republican Senator Tom Coburn today, proposes to end $6 billion in ethanol tax subsidies. If passed, this would end corporate tax breaks for companies in the ethanol business.

This proposal naturally outraged Grover Norquist. Over the years, he’s obtained signatures from most Congressional Republicans, making them pledge to never raise taxes under any circumstances.

As a guest on The Last Word, Coburn said this tax pledge would not stop government officials from doing the right thing, even under pressure.

“Between now and the next year, as we go to solve this problem, everybody knows there’s going to have to be a compromise on some sort of revenue increases,” said Coburn. “Grover’s old news. It doesn’t matter what he says, it doesn’t matter what he wants.”

Coburn seemed optimistic, adding “We’re going to fix the country, and some of that is going to be revenue increases, that’s the only way you’re going to build a compromise and get it signed by this president.”

Senate Republicans, who had signed the tax pledge, voted against Norquist and for repealing the ethanol tax credit. In total, 34 Republicans voted for the bill, though it ultimately failed 40 to 59.

Tom Coburn, Grover Norquist and Budget

Sen. Coburn: Norquist 'old news'