WASHINGTON —– Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) today released its updated non-partisan list of federal Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers.  The Pledge commits legislators to "oppose any and all efforts to increase marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

 Presidential candidate George W. Bush, 209 incumbent members of the House of Representatives, 40 Unites States Senators, and 134 challengers for the Congress and Senate have signed the Pledge. 

 "In every competitive federal election for the House there is a clear choice for voters, at least one candidate has signed the Pledge, and thus made a commitment to oppose tax increases.  In the Senate, every race save two, New York and Minnesota, has at least one Pledge signer," said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

 "Signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is simply a demonstration of good common sense. Every elected official should sign this Pledge," said Damon Ansell, ATR\’s vice president for Policy.

 "Only when a bloc of legislators stand up and say \’No! We will not vote for any tax increase\’ will government begin shrink. If Americans elect more anti-tax, pro-taxpayer representatives, they will ensure that there will never be another tax hike. The Pledge gives the voters a simple way to determine if a candidate is pro-taxpayer or not, " Norquist concluded.

 These pledge signers, both Republican and Democrat alike, stand in stark contrast to Minority Leader Gephardt\’s recent comments suggesting he "would be proud to vote for a tax increase."  The Census Bureau reports that the average household pays $9,445 in federal income taxes alone — twice what it paid in 1985.  Gephardt\’s recent comments expose him for what he really is: a tax-and-spend liberal.