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.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Sen. Tom Coburn (file)
Now we’re down to five. Sen. Tom Coburn confirmed today he’s leaving the so-called Gang of Six, a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators working to solve the hot mess that is America’s deficit.
“We can’t bridge the gulf of where we need to go on mandatory spending,” Corburn said today. “I don’t see that there’s going to be any fruition in continuing them at this time.” He said talks sunk to a “discouraging” low as of late.
Coburn blamed the issue of entitlement reform as the main cause of the breakdown.
He leaves behind two other Republican and three Democratic colleagues. Though, Corburn noted it’s unclear whether remaining members will continue to meet without him.
There's one person standing in the way of Republicans doing the right thing when it comes to taxes, and that's Grover Norquist. He has a virtual lock on GOP tax policy. But, one Republican Senator is finally standing up to machine. Msnbc's Lawrence O'Donnell has more in the Rewrite.
The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell airs at 10pm ET, Monday through Thursday on MSNBC. The show channels O'Donnell's extensive background in politics and entertainment.
Sign up for SMS alerts on your phone. Text "LAST" to 622639 and you'll start getting messages from the show.
To stop the text messages, text STOP to 622639 to quit, or HELP for more info (must be in all caps). Message and data rates may apply. Check with your respective carrier for more details.
We're also on GetGlue. Download the app for your phone and start checking in to earn badges and major props from us.