Today, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist did not endorse any particular debt limit contingency plan, as has been alleged. He did endorse the objective of Leader McConnell’s effort to force the President to put his spending plan in writing.
Earlier, Senator McConnell announced a "contingency" plan, the goal of which is to make President Obama own up to the lie he's been telling taxpayers for the past two years: he has no specific plan to cut spending. Congressional Democrats will have to admit the jig is up for them as well.
The McConnell plan requires the President to submit, with a request for $700 billion in more borrowing authority, a package of spending rescissions of the same or greater value. Up until this point, the debate on extending the debt ceiling has been framed as one of President Obama offering unspecified "reasonable" tax increases for spending cut promises. The problem, which we have detailed at length, is that no tax hike policy could ever solve what is a spending problem. The President has been allowed to promote imaginary spending cuts to which he would accede in order to get Republicans to agree to tax hikes. Republicans didn't bite. But President Obama, up until today, didn't have to disclose what imaginary spending cuts he was so reasonably prepared to accept.
ATR wants to ensure a debt limit deal contains the maximum amount of real spending cuts and absolutely no tax increases. Leader McConnell has put forth a plan that attempts to put this goal in motion. ATR looks forward to reviewing other strategies that could also achieve this goal.
Leader McConnell is trying to force the President to put his alleged spending plan in writing. ATR supports this effort in general but not any plan in particular. The onus is now on the President to admit to the American people he has no plan to cut spending – put up or shut up.