Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., bucked Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge on Sunday, the second Republican senator to do so in less than a week.
Although Graham will not give way to raising tax rates, he said Republicans need to be open to increasing government revenues.
“I think Grover is wrong,” Graham said on ABC’s This Week. “I will violate the pledge … for the good of the country.”
Last week, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told a local television station that he is more worried about the fiscal cliff than he is about adhering to the no-new-taxes pledge, prompting a response from Norquist, Politico reported.
With fiscal cliff negotiations starting up again following the Thanksgiving break, Graham sounded optimistic that Congress could reach a deal in time to stave off the massive spending cuts and tax increases slated to take effect at the beginning of next year. Joining him in that optimism was Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
“We can solve this problem,” Durbin said on ABC. “Tomorrow, there’s no excuse: we’re back in town.”
Durbin, the Democratic whip, said the House should pass a Senate-approved bill to keep the Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, leaving negotiations over the rates for wealthy Americans for later debate.
Durbin said Republicans should be open to raising rates, citing Democratic willingness to examine changes to entitlement programs.