Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said Friday night that Republicans should let the debt ceiling go up and take their fight for spending cuts to the voters in 2012. In an interview on CNN right after Speaker John Boehner announced he was abandoning debt talks, Norquist warned against allowing a default, saying, “I assume it’s a disaster.”
“It is gambling with the economics of the country to get that far,” Norquist said. “Rather than close the government down or go into default, let’s take it to the American people, go into the next election, and fix things then.”
At a press conference a few minutes earlier, President Barack Obama had referenced Norquist’s anti-tax pledge — something most Congressional Republicans have signed — and said his offer would have complied with the pledge.
Norquist spoke kindly of the Plan B proposal from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would give Obama the power to raise the debt limit by himself.
“I would certainly argue that it is better to let the president to make this decision all by himself as long as there’s not a tax increase and not phony cuts,” he said.
Norquist’s position contrasts sharply with other conservative groups, many of which are demanding nothing short of a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget before allowing any debt limit increase.
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.