Norquist went to great lengths to preserve the pledge’s near-perfect record last year, when the bulk of GOP senators voted for a Coburn amendment eliminating the ethanol tax credit. Norquist ruled that the amendment itself violated the pledge, but pledge signers were free to sign it if they also supported another amendment proposed by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that included big tax cuts.
DeMint’s amendment, however, never came up for a vote.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.