Norquist group increases lobbying efforts

Americans for Tax Reform spokesman, John Kartch, said the group has “promoted intellectual and physical property rights as being key to economic growth” when asked about the group's interest in SOPA.

“We have a problem with intellectual property being stolen online, and that we need to do something about it,” he said. “There's broad consensus that SOPA was not the way to do it, but we were involved urging changes to encourage greater protection for civil liberties and other improvements to the bills.”

Kartch also highlighted ATR's lobbying on the Student Success Act. ATR supported the “[reworking of] performance metrics," and allowing for more state-level deference on education funding decisions in the legislation, he told The Hill.

Although there has been a large increase in numbers this year over last, the organization's lobbying expenditures were much higher in previous years. ATR spent more than $1 million on lobbying each year from 2004 to 2009.

Norquist is widely known in politics for creating a pledge, which many public officials have signed, that officials will not raise taxes for any reason. He founded ATR on the no-new-taxes premise.

The pledge has no expiration date, so Norquist works to hold members who signed it as early as the 1980s to their promise. The long list of prominent pledge signers has made Norquist one of the key forces pushing Congress on tax policy during budget battles.

At least 279 members of Congress have signed the pledge. That includes almost every Republican in the House and Senate, and three Democrats.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is also a tax pledge participant, as The Hill has reported.