Grover Norquist writes in an op-ed for The New York Times: “The Taxpayer Protection Pledge has received increased attention as the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling approaches. My organization, Americans for Tax Reform, created the pledge in 1986 as a simple, written commitment by a candidate or elected official that he or she will oppose, and vote against, tax increases. Nevertheless, there is some confusion these days about what the pledge does and doesn’t mean, and numerous people have tried to reconfigure its intent to somehow allow its signatories to support tax increases. But in fact the pledge has not changed — indeed, fiscal conservatives must stick to their commitment to oppose tax increases and fight to reduce the size of the federal government.”

Grover Norquist responds to the question “Is the Tax Pledge helping or hurting debt talks?” in POLITICO’s Arena: “The fact is that raising taxes by ending, reducing or altering the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts or the AMT patch would clearly increase taxes and would not ‘pass the laugh test’ of not being tax increases. Plans that match such massive increases in the tax burden with minor tax cuts elsewhere are massive tax hikes and would violate any reading of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

Major Garrett writes for the National Journal: “Norquist thinks allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire is a bad idea and that it ‘wouldn’t pass the laugh test’ to say that allowing tax cuts valued at $4 trillion over 10 years to lapse wouldn’t amount to a tax increase on millions of Americans. ‘If everybody looks at it and says it’s a tax increase, it’s a tax increase… The pledge is not to me. The pledge is to the voters of a given district or state,’ [Norquist said.] ‘If a politician breaks the pledge do you honestly believe they will go home and say ‘Don’t be mad; Grover said it was OK?’”

John Dickerson writes for Slate: “Norquist’s pledge has power because Republicans who vote in primaries and conservative GOP districts don't want their members to vote for tax increases of whatever flavor. As he put it in an interview with me yesterday: ‘The modern Republican Party is a different party than it was 10 years ago, it was a party that has got kinda slapped and said, 'Hey you, hear us: Spend less.' So those Democrats and moderate Republicans who are hoping for the good old days when Republicans would raise taxes for you are very old, because that happened 20-plus years ago and hasn't happened since.’ Norquist shapes and uses that power—but he didn't create it, and he can't suddenly reverse course even if that were his intention (which it's not). If Obama is going to work out a deal with Republicans that wrings some savings out of changing the tax code, he's going to have to convince conservative Republicans that they won't get punished. At the moment that still looks about as easy as convincing people that the weather in Washington is lovely this time of year.”

From NPR Staff: “Norquist told weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that any raise in net taxes is unacceptable. ‘Until you say 'no' to tax increases, you don't even begin a conversation about spending restraint or reforming government,’ Norquist said. ‘When you raise taxes, the politicians spend the money. You cannot reduce the size of government while increasing taxes.’ Some in Washington hold Norquist directly responsible for the inflexibility of House Republicans in the budget debate. He disagrees. ‘They're not against taxes because I asked them to. They're not against taxes because that's the politically popular thing to do this week. These are true believers.’”