Where Dan Coats parts ways with Grover Norquist

The press secretary for Sen. Dan Coats is bothered by our story from yesterday where we reported that Coats is willing to consider tax hikes as Congress considers solutions to the fiscal cliff.   The entire story was a look at how Indiana lawmakers now view Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.  That pledge not only requires opposition to increases in tax rates, it also calls for opposition to “any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”  Coats has signed the pledge.

The Senator opposes any increase in rates but is willing “to put revenues on the table, including simplification of the tax code and the elimination of tax loopholes,” according to his spokeswoman.  That would violate the Norquist pledge but does not, apparently, qualify as a tax hike in the view of Senator Coats.

So, just to be very clear, Coats is willing to consider Grover Norquist’s definition of a tax hike.  And, by the way, that was the context of our story.

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