By Bob Cusack - 08/30/13 04:09 AM EDT
Grover Norquist says Republicans must ask for "reasonable things" in this fall's fiscal showdown with President Obama.
In an interview with The Hill, the head of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) criticized the strategy of some Republicans on defunding ObamaCare as "not wise." Norquist noted the Senate and White House remain in Democratic hands and that President Obama is not going to agree to gut the landmark achievement of his first term.
However, Norquist believes a one-year delay of ObamaCare could be ultimately accepted by the president because some vulnerable Democrats on Capitol Hill are worried that implementation problems of the healthcare overhaul will hamper their reelection bids. He also said the eradication of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a controversial part of ObamaCare, is possible in the coming months.
Other highlights of the interview include:
* Norquist predicts immigration reform will pass before the 2014 elections. He claims that the GOP has moved significantly away from its anti-immigration reform stance last year. The ATR president has praised the Senate for its passage of immigration reform earlier this year.
* Tax reform is "unlikely" to be signed into law during the Obama administration, Norquist said, because Obama is insistent on raising taxes in any such measure.
* Congressional Republicans should insist on transparency in the debt-limit talks, he said. The Obama administration should open up its books to prove that a debt-limit increase is necessary this fall, according to Norquist.
* Conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin should not moderate the 2016 GOP presidential debates, he said. Instead, Norquist said elected GOP officials should be used as moderators for some of the debates.