From The Washington Post, Lori Montgomery: “Norquist claimed victory, saying he had prevented Coburn from tricking his colleagues into voting for a tax increase. At a Capitol Hill meeting Tuesday morning with more than 100 GOP staffers, Norquist said he authorized senators to advance the Coburn measure so long as they also supported a bill by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to cut the estate tax. This strategy, Norquist said, ‘robbed’ Coburn of the opportunity to persuade his Senate colleagues to vote for higher taxes. ‘We won, he lost; he can try again, but he’s not going to get his tax increase,’ Norquist said. ‘Because the House won’t let him have his tax increase, even if he thinks he can get it through the Senate.’”

Bernie Becker from The Hill writes: “Norquist, who was critical of the debt panel for using tax reform as a way to decrease deficits, has slammed past big deficit reduction deals, including one hashed out on Reagan’s watch, for raising taxes while not reining in spending. The anti-tax pledge administered by Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform has been signed by more than 95 percent of congressional Republicans. John Kartch, an ATR spokesman, told The Hill that Norquist would be up for a debate… for him to take on frequent critic, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). ‘If there was a proper venue and media outlet, that would be fun,’ Kartch said. Norquist also told The Hill in an interview last week that he was essentially an easy target for people like Simpson, who want to raise taxes against the American people’s wishes. ‘When they say Grover Norquist they’re saying the taxpayer movement,” Norquist said. “If you’re Alan Simpson, do you really want to say the American people won’t let me to raise taxes?’” 

Philip Klein writes for The Washington Examiner: “Forty one current Senators have signed an ATR pledge that they would not vote to rescind any tax credits or deductions without offsetting it with tax cuts elsewhere. So does that mean that those 34 Republicans who voted today to move ahead with the Coburn amendment were violating the pledge? The answer is no, according to ATR. Ryan Ellis of ATR explained that the group would not consider it a violation of the pledge as long as Senators also supported an amendment proposed by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would have had offsetting tax cuts. Today's vote was merely on letting the Coburn amendment proceed. Had it prevailed, Senators would have had the chance to vote for the offsetting DeMint amendment. But as things stand, Ellis said, ‘nobody had an opportunity to break the pledge in this process.’”