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Norquist pans Geithner's cliff pitch

Dec. 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist said Sunday the White House is offering nothing productive in negotiations on ending the so-called fiscal cliff.

Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" the Obama administration was only interested in having more tax money to spend.

"There have been some Republicans who thought that maybe the administration, like (President) Clinton, was going to be reasonable, that they might put real reforms on the table," Norquist said.

After hearing Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner pitch what he called a balanced approach on the same program, Norquist told NBC the administration had backed away from proposals to reduce government spending through entitlement and tax reform.

"What we just heard was no reforms," Norquist concluded.

"Every Republican who had impure thoughts about maybe I could raise taxes a little because the other guy is going to be reasonable has to go back to the drawing board," Norquist said. "They have just been told (by Geithner) there are no real reforms in this budget at all."

Norquist -- who is seen by many in Washington has having an iron grip on congressional Republicans who signed his organization's "no tax hike" pledge -- suggested negotiations on the fiscal cliff deal be televised live.

"If the Republicans are reasonable, we'll see that. If they're not, we'll see that, too," he said.

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