Americans for Tax Reform, the most powerful anti-tax group in Washington, announced today that they would not consider a vote for Speaker John Boehner’s Plan B fiscal cliff plan a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. ATR Tax Policy Director Ryan Ellis writes:
ATR has consistently maintained that individual Members of Congress make a pledge to their constituents to oppose and vote against tax increases. The House this week will vote on a tax bill. This legislation—popularly known as “Plan B”–permanently prevents a tax increase on families making less than $1 million per year. Republicans supporting this bill are this week affirming to their constituents in writing that this bill—the sole purpose of which is to prevent tax increases—is consistent with the pledge they made to them. In ATR’s analysis, it is extremely difficult—if not impossible—to fault these Republicans’ assertion.
In particular, in this Congress the House has already voted twice to prevent any tax increases on any American. When viewed with this in mind, and considering this tax bill contains no tax increases of any kind—in fact, it permanently prevents them—matters become more clear. Having finally seen actual legislation in writing, ATR is now able to make its determination about a legislative proposal related to the fiscal cliff. ATR will not consider a vote for this measure a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
This statement will be a huge boost to Boehner as he rounds up votes for his Plan B proposal. Conservatives weary of facing primary challenges now know ATR will have their back if they vote for Plan B. It is hard to see how Plan B could fail tomorrow now that it has the blessing of the most hardline anti-tax group in the country.