WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said he doesn’t think abiding by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge helps avoid the looming fiscal cliff.
Though he signed the pledge, Chambliss said strictly adhering to it will prevent Republicans and Democrats from working together to find a solution for the country’s ballooning debt, CNN reported.
“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” Saxby said Wednesday. “If we do it [Norquist's] way, then we’ll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”
Thirty-eight senators and 219 House members have signed the pledge by Norquist, who heads the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform. About one dozen newly elected House members refused to sign the document, though, The Hill reported.
To avoid the impending Jan. 1 fiscal cliff when hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to begin, President Barack Obama has proposed tax increases for wealthy Americans. Republicans, though, prefer closing certain tax loopholes and eliminating deductions.
Chambliss said “Norquist has no plan to pay this debt down.”
He said he’s “willing to do the right thing and let the political consequences take care of themselves.”