Some Ind. Republicans waver on tax pledge

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — All but one Indiana Republican in Congress has signed the taxpayer protection pledge from the Americans for Tax Reform and its leader, Grover Norquist.

That pledge, promising to oppose tax hikes, is central to the current Washington debate over solutions to the fiscal cliff, the series of tax increases and spending cuts that will go into effect in January if Congress doesn't reach a compromise.

In the House of Representatives, Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton, Mike Pence, Todd Rokita, Marlin Stutzman and Todd Young have all signed the pledge.  In a video on his website, however, Rokita puts out a warning regarding the fiscal cliff.  "Allowing the current tax rates to expire will hit Americans at all income levels," he says.  "We simply cannot let that happen." 

Yet he stands by the pledge.

Burton also says he won't vote for a tax hike.  In a speech on his website he says, "We've gotta control spending, we've gotta cut spending, we've gotta look at the entitlements and the rules and regulations we have to live by."

Todd Young told 24-Hour-News 8 that "comprehensive tax reform ought to be part of a fiscal cliff package, and that everything should be on the table as far as that goes."

Senator Dan Coats has also signed the pledge. His spokesperson says Coats is willing to consider tax hikes to prevent the massive tax hike from the fiscal cliff, if they are offset by spending reforms.  That's not what Grover Norquist wants to hear.

Finally, Dick Lugar is the only Indiana Republican in Congress who hasn't signed the pledge. He's one of seven Republican Senators who never did. His spokesman notes that others are now backing away from the pledge and says Lugar is willing to support a reasonable deal that includes tax hikes to avoid what he calls the draconian effects of the fiscal cliff.

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