On Wednesday, the conservative ForAmerica political organization and other groups threatened House Republicans who are considering voting in favor of House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’s tax-hiking “Plan B” fiscal proposal not to do so.
ForAmerica chairman Brent Bozell told reporters at a Wednesday press conference that he’d put “primary challengers” up against Republicans who vote for Boehner’s “Plan B.” Boehner’s “Plan B,” an unsolicited offer, is a tax hike on all Americans who make more than $1 million per year. Boehner’s plan was originally proposed by New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer – and later endorsed by House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – in early 2012.
“I’m going to make a prediction, right here and now, and write it down – and call me on it. If the Republicans support this tax increase, they will lose control of the House in the 2014 elections,” Bozell said.
They will lose control of the House. Not only that, but a whole lot of members who thought they were safe and who thought they could get away with this will lose in their own districts. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. This is precisely what happened to them six years ago and they’ve already forgotten that message. The Republicans were tossed out of the majority when they broke their word on spending. Now they’re breaking their word again but it’s not just spending. It’s taxes on top of that. Fiscal conservatives will not stand for this. This is a terrible bill. This is a terrible box Republicans have painted themselves into, in this corner. They’ve got to try to get themselves out of it. But going for higher taxes and trying to play “Democrat-lite” is the worst possible solution and the negotiations that are going on right now between the Speaker’s office and the Obama administration is the stuff of Keystone Cops. It is embarrassing how badly this has been negotiated. Real fiscal conservatives would simply walk away from this mess.
A GOP operative told Breitbart News that House Republicans had better heed Bozell’s warning: “ForAmerica has built the closest thing the Republicans have to Obama’s online machine.” The GOP operative claimed, “They’re able to get millions of conservatives aware and active on specific issues at the drop of a hat. I’d worry a lot more about ForAmerica than Grover.”
Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist’s group, issued a statement on Wednesday saying they don’t support or oppose Boehner’s “Plan B,” and they empathize with Republicans who will support it. That said, ATR said it does not endorse Boehner’s plan.
Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham agrees, like many other conservatives do, that the Boehner “Plan B” is a tax increase. Needham told reporters that ATR’s milquetoast attitude toward the plan doesn’t mean voting for it isn’t a violation of the ATR pledge.
“I think Grover will be the first person to tell you that the pledge is to the taxpayers and not to Americans for Tax Reform,” Needham said. “We have 26 conservative groups who have come together and said this is a tax increase.”
Club for Growth vice president Andy Roth said his organization also believes Boehner’s plan is a tax increase. “Basically, what members of Congress are saying is ‘we’ve been reckless and irresponsible with your tax dollars so the solution is for you to give us more. Even though the evidence over the last 12 years says that we have no credibility with you we still want more,'” Roth said.
“We think that’s a mistake. It’s a simple message: It’s a tax increase, and we’re opposed to it. We hope that the Republican Party will realize this before it’s too late and that they will remain the party that is against tax increases. So, we’ll find shortly – tomorrow.”
After the press conference, Bozell told Breitbart News:
[The] Republican Party ran in 2010 on the principle that the spending from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats was out of control. It’s a reality test here. Under this Republican majority, spending is even higher. So, it’s going to be a “come to Jesus” meeting they’re going to have with their constituents next year about the fact that they were in charge and unless they do something, it got even worse. So, you know, why not just put Nancy Pelosi back in?
When asked if he and his ForAmerica group would support the ouster of Boehner now, Bozell said he wouldn’t right now but would consider it later. “At this point, I’m not going to go there because the negotiations are still being finalized,” Bozell said. “But, if there’s a surrender on this, there’s going to be more to say.”
Bozell said a “surrender” means “giving in on tax increases while not doing anything about spending. That to me is a surrender. You can’t sugar-coat that. It is what it is.”
About 30 conservatives have deemed Boehner’s efforts here a move to raise taxes.