Sen. Murray: GOP too ‘enthralled’ by Norquist to reach a deficit deal

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic co-chairman of the debt supercommittee, said Sunday that she was willing to “work all night long” to reach a deficit-reduction agreement but believes that GOP lawmakers are too "enthralled" with their pledge to anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist make a compromise work.

"At this point today, Democrats have made some really tough decisions and come to some pretty tough choices that we're willing to put on the line, but only if Republicans are willing to cross the line and admit that revenues have to be part of the solution," Murray said on CNN's State of the Union.

Murray said that Republican resistance to raising taxes was the driving force behind the impasse, a theme Democrats have been increasingly hitting as the supercommittee seems more and more unlikely to succeed.

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"One of the problems has been a pledge that too many Republicans took to a wealthy Republican lobbyist named Grover Norquist…. as long as we have Republican lawmakers who are more enthralled with a pledge they took to a Republican lobbyist than a pledge they took to help solve the country's problems, this is going to be hard to do," Murray said.

Murray said that the "sticking point" was that Republicans have been unwilling to consider major new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations. "Democrats have said shared sacrifice, the country has said shared sacrifice," Murray said.

Murray refused to rule out completely a last-second deal, though, saying she was still willing to work with Republicans towards a deal.


"If there’s a Republican who gets up today and says I can't let the country see a failure out of this committee and comes to us and says, 'I'm willing to say there's revenue on the table,' I'll work all night long," Murray said.

She also tried to emphasize that Democrats had come to the table ready to bargain on key issues, including cuts to entitlement programs.

"Democrats have come to the table to meet dollar for dollar what the Republicans are asking for in terms of spending cuts and entitlements… we have said we are willing to put on the table changes to the entitlement program that reduce the deficit in the long term."

While Murray acknowledged that the so-called triggers put in place if the supercommittee failed would have a dramatic impact on social services and the Defense department, she said she remained hopeful that Congress could address the problem outside the confines of the supercommittee.

"I believe strongly that we still have the capability to come together and do this…if the supercommittee can't do it, then I hope that Congress will," Murray said.


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