Sen. John Kerry on Monday said Republicans prevented the debt “super committee” from reaching a deal in time because of their unwillingness to raise taxes.
The 12-member congressional panel announced Monday that they were unable to create a federal budget to cut U.S. deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
“We Democrats put a $4 trillion dollar plan on the table,” Kerry, one of the members of the committee, said on CNN before the committee announced it had failed.
“We had $1.3 trillion of cuts, and we had $1.3 trillion in revenue. Now, some of that revenue, we’re not asking that to happen tomorrow or the next day, it could happen in a year. This is a ten-year plan and longer. So we have the ability here to do something that’s fair for all Americans.”
“But unfortunately, this thing about the Bush tax cuts and the pledge to Grover Norquist keeps coming up,” Kerry continued. “Grover Norquist has been the 13th member of this committee without being there. I can’t tell you how many times we hear about ‘the pledge, the pledge.’ Well all of us took a pledge to uphold the Constitution and to full and faithfully and well-execute our duties and I think that requires us to try and reach an agreement.”
At least 279 Republican members of the current Congress have signed Norquist’s pledge to never raise taxes. Those who sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge vow to oppose any and all tax increases.