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Peter King Mulls Breaking Tax Pledge

Lawmaker says "everything should be on the table" to avoid fiscal cliff.

Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, has indicated he might be willing to break a pledge not to raise taxes in order to avoid the coming "fiscal cliff."

In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," King said, "I think everything should be on the table," to avoid the tax increases and hevy spending cuts that will start to kick in at the beginning of 2013, if Congressional leaders don't come to a deficit deal before then.

King is one of hundreds of lawmakers who have signed a pledge put together by the organization Americans for Tax Reform," vowing not to raise taxes.

But while he says he still opposes increases, King agreed with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who said last week that such pledges could become outdated.

"A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress," King said. "For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have signed the declaration of war against Japan. I'm not going to attack Japan today. The world has changed. The economic situation is different."

King said he wants to give House leaders a chance to negotiate a deal before he weighs in on it.

"The fact is that the speaker and the majority leader and the president are going to be in a room, trying to find the best package," he said.  "I’m not going to prejudge it.  And I’m just saying we should not be taking ironclad positions.  I have faith in John Boehner.  They can put together a good package."

But the man behind the pledge, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist fires back at King telling CNN Monday he knew he was signing a long term pledge.

"Congressman Peter King of New York knows full well that the pledge that he signed and others have, is for while you’re in Congress," Norquist said. "It’s not for a two year period.” 

Chris Wendt November 26, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Re:... the organization Americans for Tax Reform: This organization and those people did not elect Peter King or any other U.S. lawmaker. Who are they to exact pledges from anyone? More importantly, lawmakers need to be careful of what they sign for whom. Newt Gingrich's "Contract for America" was over the very next year after a Republican majority was swept into office midway through President Clinton's first term. While Gingrich and that Republican House majority passed a good percentage of the "Contract" promises, the Republican-controlled Senate failed to support their efforts, and I don't think much if any of those initiatives ever made it all the way into law. Each Congress has to be the master of its own destiny. Legacy campaign promises do not hold water as far as future legislative sessions go, especially not when those distant future Congresses grow up to become the current Congress.
Vito November 26, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I think less of King (and others) for signing such a stupid pledge than I do of him (and others) for possibly raising taxes. A leader who so willingly boxes himself into a corner is not a very good leader.
Concerned Long Islander November 26, 2012 at 09:42 PM
My plan to help the USA avoid the "fiscal cliff" is to stop providing free services to illegal aliens (oooh, undocument workers). The USA taxpayers have been bled dry by these giveaway programs to individuals who have never (and probably never will) pay taxes. Just think of the millions/billions we'd save our healthcare system, our education system, our social security system, our disability system....from people who have no intention of ever becoming citizens of the USA.
Andi Dier November 26, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Finally, a republican doing the right thing. It's funny how people propose all these ideas that will slightly fix our budget yet we ignore the elephant in the room—our morbidly obese military budget.
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