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Diminishing Republican Support for Tax Reform Pledge

by Lauren Moore, published


Republican Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia has revoked his signature from Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform pledge, and he isn’t the only one. Until recently the pledge had been signed by every Republican in, or wishing to be in, Congress. Now, just 45 of 83 of the Republican National Congressional Committee's current group of up-and-coming politicians, known as the “Young Guns”, have signed the no-tax pledge.

By taking his name off the pledge in January, Rep. Rigell says his “advice and counsel to 'Young Guns' would be to not sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge.” According to the Huffington Post, he says that he “objects to the pledge's prohibition against eliminating corporate loopholes or government subsidies unless the change in the tax code is revenue-neutral.”

Revoking his signature was specifically against his campaign advisers' orders, who urged him to wait until after the November's election.

“If they want me with my convictions to represent them, that's wonderful. I'd be honored," said Rigell. "If they know I'm repudiating and distancing myself from the ATR pledge, and in their wisdom, if they want someone else to represent them, they need to have that opportunity."

Other Republicans have recently spoken out against the pledge. "I'm not signing any pledges, I'm just promising to use my best judgment as a congressman. And I think that's the problem in Washington right now. You have both Democrats and Republicans that are inflexible on certain issues," said Richard Tisei, a Republican candidate from Massachusetts.

"To me, pledges, can be gimmicks," Perry told the York Dispatch in April. "It is easy to candidates to sign pledges and make promises. The proof is in my record."

That said, there is still a lot of GOP support on this pledge. Mia Love, Mayor of Utah’s Saratoga Springs is a Young Gun who’s goal is to be the first black Republican woman in Congress. While not opposed to taxes personally, as she approved a 116% property tax recently, she is in favor of the pledge.

"I signed the pledge for the very simple reason that I firmly believe the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem," Love said in the statement. "As our national economy continues to struggle, we do not need further tax increases."

Fans of the pledge have pointed out that there are still 100 more politicians who have signed the pledge now, than there were two years ago.

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