Republican Rep. Tom Cole urged colleagues in a private session Tuesday to vote to extend the Bush tax rates for all but the highest earners before the end of the year — and to battle over the rest later.
The Oklahoma Republican said in an interview with POLITICO that he believes such a vote would not violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and that he’s not alone within Republican circles.
At a meeting of the House GOP whip team earlier in the day, he made the case that Republicans would strengthen their position by joining hands with President Barack Obama now to give most taxpayers what he calls “an early Christmas present” of ensuring their taxes don’t go up on Jan. 1.
Cole’s position is striking because he’s hardly a “squish” — Norquist’s term for a weak-kneed lawmaker — when it comes to Republican orthodoxy. Cole served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and in other official posts within the party.
Americans for Tax Reform lists 219 of 435 incoming Representatives and 39 of 100 incoming Senators who have signed Grover's pledge.
Of those 33 Representatives and 12 Senators have renounced their pledge as of 12/6/12. This leaves 186 Representatives and 27 Senators.
16 incoming Republican Representatives and 6 incoming Republican Senators never signed the pledge. 66 incoming Republicans oppose it.
Robert Andrews (NJ-01) - Charles Boustany (LA-03) - Howard Coble (NC-06) - Tom Cole (OK-04) - John Campbell (CA-45) Rick Crawford (AR-01) - Charlie Dent (PA-15) - Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) - Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) - Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) Chris Gibson (NY-19) - Kay Granger (TX-12) - Walter Jones (NC-03) - Peter King (NY-02) - John Kline (MN-02) - Tom Latham (IA-03) Buck McKeon (CA-25) - Pat Meehan (PA-07) - Tom Marino (PA-10) - Rich Nugent (FL-11) - Erik Paulsen (MN-03) - Tom Reed (NY-23) Reid Ribble (WI-08) - Scott Rigell (VA-02) - Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48) - Tom Rooney (FL-17) - Dennis Ross (FL-15) - Jon Runyan (NJ-03) John Shimkus (IL-15) - Mike Simpson (ID-02) - Adrian Smith (NE-03) - Lee Terry (NE-02) - Dan Webster (FL-10) Lamar Alexander (TN-SEN) - Kelly Ayotte (NH-SEN) - Saxby Chambliss (GA-SEN) - Tom Coburn (OK-SEN) - Bob Corker (TN-SEN) Mike Crapo (ID-SEN) - Mike Enzi (WY-SEN) - Lindsey Graham (SC-SEN - Mike Johanns (NE-SEN) - John McCain (AZ-SEN) Jeff Sessions (AL-SEN) - David Vitter (LA-SEN)
Americans for Tax Reform lists 238 of 435 outgoing Representatives and 41 of 100 outgoing Senators who have signed Grover's pledge.
Of those 44 Representatives and 13 Senators have renounced their pledge as of 12/6/12. This leaves 194 Representatives and 28 Senators.
6 outgoing Republican Representatives and 7 outgoing Republican Senators never signed the pledge. 67 outgoing Republicans oppose it, 76 total.
Charlie Bass (NH-02) - Ben Chandler (KY-06) - Chip Cravaack (MN-08) - Robert Dold (IL-10) - Jeff Flake (AZ-06) - Nan Hayworth (NY-19) Tim Johnson (IL-15) - Steve LaTourette (OH-14) - Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) - Bob Turner (NY-09) - Allen West (FL-22) Ben Nelson (NE-SEN)