On Monday, The Hill published a piece on how the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is affecting some of its signatories in the context of the House Democrat Health Care Bill. Rep. Robert Andrews (NJ) and three other House Democrats have signed the Pledge including Reps. Ben Chandler (KY), Brad Ellsworth (IN), and Gene Taylor (MS).
Andrews signed the Pledge back in January of 1995, which commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses…”
The Hill reports that Rep. Andrews is trying to escape the promise he made to his constituents. Andrews claimed to have previously signed the Pledge but felt he should no longer be bound by it because Congress needs to impose new taxes to “raise money [to pay] for healthcare.” His constituents should know that in 2007 and 2008 Andrews repeatedly violated that promise by voting for H.R. 6, H.R. 2419, and H.R. 3996, and H.R. 2642. So this isn’t the first time that he’s felt the need to ignore his promise to taxpayers.
The Hill also contacted Rep. Chandler and Taylor for this story. While Rep. Chandler did not comment, Rep. Taylor cautiously came out against tax increases in the healthcare bill saying, “We can’t afford the promises that we have already made. Between the prescription drug benefit and the Medicare trust fund running out in the next seven years, I don’t think we need to make more promises until we can figure out how we are going to pay for the ones we have already made.”