One day before Grover Norquist heads to Capitol Hill for a closed-door meeting with members to discuss his organization’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” No Labels is renewing its calls for an end to special-interest pledges in Congress. In doing so, No Labels is joining a growing and bipartisan list of lawmakers seeking to reduce the influence of special interest pledges.
“In recent weeks, we have seen Sen. Lindsay Graham and Tom Coburn decry the Americans For Tax Reform pledge, and it’s not hard to see why,” said No Labels Co-Founder and former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. “Pledges to the ideological right and left put a straitjacket on elected officials. They prevent them from thinking for themselves and from working across the aisle to reach reasoned and reasonable compromises. And ultimately, these pledges serve special interests a lot more than the longer-term interests of the American people.”
Walker added, “The proliferation of pledges has gotten out of control. Right now, over 80% of Congress has signed a pledge to either never raise taxes or never reduce Social Security benefits. What that basically means is that Congress has signed away its ability to ever seriously address our country’s fiscal problems. They are elected to solve problems not to stonewall solutions.”
Eliminating single-interest pledges is reform no. 8 in No Labels Make Congress Work!action plan.