WASHINGTON — Harry Reid attacked anti-higher taxes crusader Grover Norquist from the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday, but appeared to get his facts wrong in the process.
“We can’t get past Grover Norquist,” the Democratic majority leader lamented Thursday, discussing the inability of Congress to pass legislation averting the so-called fiscal cliff.
The Nevada Democrat went on to blame Norquist for killing House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal. That bill — a last resort bill Boehner said was meant to keep as many Americans as possible from seeing their taxes raise next year — extended tax cuts for everyone except those making more than $1 million a year.
“Grover and the boys said, ‘No, you can’t do that,’” Reid said of Boehner’s proposal.
But Reid is wrong: Norquist’s organization, Americans for Tax Reform, gave its blessings to Republican lawmakers to vote for Boehner’s “Plan B,” which never got enough support to pass in the House.
“This legislation — popularly known as “Plan B” — permanently prevents a tax increase on families making less than $1 million per year. Republicans supporting this bill are this week affirming to their constituents in writing that this bill — the sole purpose of which is to prevent tax increases — is consistent with the pledge they made to them,” the organization said in a statement on Dec. 19.
The organization also said: “ATR will not consider a vote for this measure a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”
But that did not stop Reid from blaming Norquist on Thursday.
“We try hard but when there is no revenue as part of the package, it makes it really hard,” Reid said of proposals to stop automatic tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of the year.