Democrats found a familiar face to blame for the super committee failure on Monday night: Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
In statements and comments to reporters, Democrats pinned Monday’s failure of the 12-member Select Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction on the GOP’s subservience to Norquist and his powerful organization.
Speaking after the announcement of the failure, Senate Democrat and committee member John Kerry called Norquist the “13th member” of 12-member super committee.
Hundreds of Republicans have signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge to voters to never vote for raising taxes. Democrats contend the GOP was unwilling to break that pledge and face the well-funded wrath of Norquist.
“GOP rejected a balanced plan & chose to keep their pledge to Norquist to protect wealthiest 1 [percent] at all costs,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also name-dropped Norquist in his statement on the super committee failure.
“I am disappointed that Republicans never found the courage to ignore Tea Party extremists and millionaire lobbyists like Grover Norquist, and listen instead to the overwhelming majority of Americans — including the vast majority of Republicans — who want a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” Reid said in a press release.
Speaking on CNN, Norquist shot back against the claim that he was holding Republicans hostage.
“[Republicans] didn’t promise me anything,” Norquist said on CNN. “They wouldn’t have to worry about me, they’d have to worry about voters.”