Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have made no secret of working hand in hand with their “Tax Breaks Or Bust” message guru Grover Norquist for the past year and half:
Grover Norquist: “…Speaker Boehner has taken the pledge and always kept it as a congressman. He leads a caucus in the House of Representatives, where all but six Republicans have made the commitment in writing to never raise taxes. He knows he leads a Republican Party that’s not going to raise taxes and that he personally is committed to that as well.” [MSNBC, 7/18/11]
Grover Norquist: “I’ve talked to the House leadership and the Senate leadership. They’re not going to be passing any tax increases.” [Hill, 11/15/11]
The latest casualty: the Farm Bill – “a bedrock bill to renew nutrition and agriculture programs” – is being held up by Speaker Boehner and the GOP Leadership because of complaints from a handful of conservatives including Mr. Norquist have led to a schism among House Republicans.
Speaker John A. Boehner is resisting a floor debate on a bedrock bill to renew nutrition and agriculture programs, amid concerns that it will spotlight divisions among Republicans and divert attention from the majority’s pre-election agenda. […]
The GOP’s internal conflicts took shape as a coalition of 11 conservative groups, including Grover Norquist’s influential Americans for Tax Reform, declared that the Agriculture Committee’s bill “fails to reform [and] creates new subsidy entitlement programs.” [7/13]
If Speaker Boehner is really interested in having an adult conversation– he is going to have to lead the House GOP out of Grover’s playground and back to the table.