By Erik Wasson - 03/13/11 04:34 PM EDT
He noted that he is opposed to the funding of Planned Parenthood, but said that there will be other chances this year to try to end its funding so there is no reason to make a stand and demand it be done when the House votes on the CR this week.
“Is this vote the only opportunity? We are going to have a vote every two weeks, every three weeks. There are lots of bites of this apple,” he said.
The activist said he largely sees gridlock in Washington this year, casting doubt on any agreement being reached on a longer term spending bill. The gridlock will also mean more pro-conservative action taking place on the state level, following on to the major battle over spending and union rights in Wisconsin last week, he said.
He cited as an example the move toward tort reform in Texas, which will consider a bill making losers of civil action pay the court costs of the victor.
As to the federal level, Norquist said he is confident that even if some Senate Republicans like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) are willing to sign onto a deficit reduction deal being worked out by a Senate Gang of Six, such a deal will die on the vine if it reforms the tax code in order to raise revenue.
He said the deal would be dead in the House and would be filibustered in the Senate by anti-tax conservatives.
Norquist has been in a public spat with Coburn and Crapo for months over their vote for the fiscal commission report in December. That commission report would have eliminated tax earmarks to lower individual and corporate rates, something Norquist endorses, except the report would have used the reforms to pay down the deficit.
“I understand the temptation of trying to get the Democrats to come to the table to reduce spending,” he said. But he said Republicans should be wary because the other party only wants to talk in order to increase taxes. “Democrats when they get into these negotations are like a teenage boy on a prom date, there is only thing they want--tax increases," he said.
Likewise, he predicted that any proposals by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in this year's budget resolution on Medicare and Medicaid will not be in enacted this year.
He said that it could make sense politically and from a policy standpoint for the GOP to propose spending cuts and entitlement reforms that Democrats block. The GOP will be able to hold Democrats accountable for their obstruction at the polls.
Norquist was asked to react to statements made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday that Senate Republicans would not raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling unless Democrats do something serious on the debt.
He said that first of all he supports demanding passage of a bill to shield Treasury bondholders from default if the ceiling is breeched, as it is predicted to do before the end of May.
Then he said, Republicans should ask for a bill forcing state and local governments to disclose their pension and other unfunded liabilities so that the types of shortfalls occurring now can be prevented in the future.
Finally he said some sort of spending restraint has to be adopted, but conservatives should be a bit vague going into the talks.
“It should be a significant number as possible,” he said.
Norquist declined on the show to endorse any particular Republican presidential hopeful. He did say however that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry would be serious candidates if they chose to run.