Martin Bashir | November 13, 2012
>>> well, count grover norquist among the walking wounded after last week's election because a new report says the man responsible for the infamous anti-tax pledge doesn't have the same influence that he once did. the hill reports about a dozen newly elected house republicans refuse to sign the anti-tax pledge during their campaigns, and another handful of returning republicans have disavowed their allegiance to the written commitment. for more we go to peter welsh of vermont who like many of his colleagues is back in washington. good afternoon, sir. great to see you.
>> that report says there are at least 20 fewer house republicans who have signed the pledge. also, that the pledge no longer commands a majority of votes in the house. we know the president now has a mandate. does grover norquist still have one?
>> he doesn't. in fact, there were 40 republicans who signed a letter to the speaker during the debt ceiling negotiations to the super committee and said go big, and that included putting revenues on the table. so i think there's going to be a lot more room among rank and file republicans to make revenues a part of the solution.
>> but there are still 250 of them who signed the original pledge, sir.
>> well, that's right. and this is going to be the big test for speaker boehner because he's talking like he wants to have revenues as part of it but he's using vague generalities and using sort of a romney plan that you can find it in the tax code . in reality the arithmetic doesn't add up if he's talking about the charitable interest deduction, mortgage deduction. the question for mr. boehner is show us the money.
>> mitch mcconnell spoke hours ago sounding not at all like he heard last week's election results.
>> the time for the president to lead is now, and that means offering a concrete plan that takes into account the fact that half the congress opposes tax hikes.
>> congressman, did the election happen? do i wake or sleep? what is this man talking about?
>> well, he's kind of out of it. here is the dilemma he has that really he has got to think about whether he can maintain his leadership position. he could be the next richard mourdock . he's got a tea party group in his state going -- that's going to be after him in the next election. so what he's got to do to try to appease them is totally in conflict with what the leader of the republicans in the senate has to do for the good of the country. and it's an internal conflict and i don't see how he resolves it.
>> what you're basically say something what we were discussing in the earlier segment, which is these individuals are out solely to protect themselves rather than the condition of the american economy ?
>> well, that's what i think senator mcconnell is doing because clearly even the exit polls showed that half the folks who supported romney were in favor of taxing the wealthy. they know that has to be part of any kind of grand bargain to have a serious and sustainable debt deal. and mr. mcconnell has to know that, but the tea party folks back in his state will hang him if he does that. so he's got this irreconcilable conflict between his responsibilities as senate leader and his responsibilities -- and his own ambition to be reb elected in kentucky.
>> wow. "the new york times" reports democrats may be receptive to mitt romney 's idea to cap income deductions as part of a bipartisan trade-off. be honest, is that true, or are democrats just having fun at mr. romney 's expense?
>> no, that's true. that could be part of it. in other words, if what romney was talking about was putting a cap on deductions that would apply for folks say over $250,000 --
>> i think he described it in terms of a bucket, a bucket theory.
>> it wouldn't get us to where it would need to be, so there would still have to be going back towards those clinton rates on folks above $250,000, but limiting deductions for people in the really high brackets could be part of it. in fact, that would deal with the hedge fund rip-off really where folks who claim that their income is all capital gains , pay 14%, this is the mitt romney deal, forevus everyone else in their income category paying 30%, 35%.
>> congressman, final question, are you confident that some kind of agreement can be reached before january 3rd ?
>> i'm hopeful, but i'm not at all confident. in fact, i'm very skeptical.
>> hang on a second. you started with hopeful and now you're skeptical.
>> i'm very skeptical.
>> you're very skeptical.
>> that's right.
>> congressman peter welch , thank you,