This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski was published on December 19, 2012 on Breitbart.com.
Prominent conservative leaders, including former attorney general Edwin Meese III, Ken Blackwell of the Conservative Action Project, Brent Bozell of ForAmerica, Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, David Bossie of Citizens United, Gary Bauer of American Values, Jim Backlin of the Christian Coalition of America, Richard Viguerie of ConservativeHQ.com, Al Regnery of the Paul Revere Project, and Andy Roth of the Club for Growth, among a myriad of others, scheduled a press conference this afternoon to denounce Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” tax increase for addressing the fiscal cliff. Some are accusing Grover Norquist of giving cover to the establishment to facilitate this cave-in and hand President Barack Obama a liberal victory.
The group released a statement this afternoon:
As leaders of broad based American citizen groups we call upon Republican House Members to vote no on Speaker Boehner’s Tax Hike known as “Plan B.” This tax increase bill is just like the tax increase proposal Nancy Pelosi offered last year on May 23rd.
Speaker Boehner, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and too many Members of the Republican conference have forgotten that the problem in Washington is too much spending and not too little taxation
When the American people voted to return the Republican majority in the House last month we sent you to cut spending. Instead, you are now voting on the Pelosi plan to increase taxes next year.
We urge Members of the House to vote no on the procedural rule to stop the Pelosi/Boehner tax plan from coming to the House floor for a vote.
Boehner’s plan would concede that marginal tax rates need to go up on those earning more than $1 million per year. The biggest job-creators in our economy would get hit with a crushing tax burden in a weak economy.
Conservatives leaders are mustering full-force opposition to what they call a “wholesale sellout” of the conservative position that Congress needs to cut out-of-control spending, not hike taxes on job creators in a weak economy.
This opposition has become all the more important since Grover Norquist–president of Americans for Tax Reform–has issued a statement that voting for this tax increase is not actually a tax increase.
Ken Blackwell, who sits on the coordinating committee for the influential Conservative Action Project (CAP), and also serves on the executive committee of the Council for National Policy, on the board of directors for the Club for Growth, and chairman of the Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition, told Breitbart News, “It’s disappointing and perplexing why Grover opened this door by saying this tax hike is not a tax hike. This is like John Roberts upholding the Obamacare individual mandate by calling it a tax when Congress refused to call it a tax.”
Andy Roth, vice president at the Club for Growth, added that aside from the Boehner bill being destructive of economic growth, “It’s no secret that this bill is not a final product, but a bargaining tactic to make a larger deal even worse.”
“In other words,” Blackwell said, “if Republicans cave in on this issue and sacrifice principle, it will move the goalposts of the conversation, and a final negotiated deal will be much closer to the president’s economically-disastrous starting position, if not a 100% surrender to the White House’s big-government demands.”
But Boehner needs to win a procedural vote in the House in order to bring this bill to the House floor. That is where conservative leaders are all concentrating their firepower to stop Plan B.
This is because some committed conservative Republicans in the House are confident they can defeat Boehner’s plan on the House floor, and saying behind closed doors they’re willing to vote with Boehner on the procedural vote so that they can crush the bill.
But conservative leaders are concerned that Grover’s statement that the Boehner plan is not a tax increase would actually give enough House members political cover to vote for the plan; if conservatives allow the plan to move forward procedurally, then Plan B could actually pass the House.
These leaders are calling on consistent conservatives to vote no on the procedural rule, and say that Rep. Jim Jordan–chairman of the powerful conservative Republican Study Committee–is in a vital role to prevent what could become a massive blow to the economy.
Blackwell, who is a personal friend of Jordan, has talked on the record about how important Jordan’s leadership will be in this fight. “Chairman Jordan can terminate this silliness before it gets to the floor, where the ringmasters of this three-ring circus might actually make this Orwellian doublespeak on the definition of ‘tax increase’ the law of the land.”