Exclusive: Grover Norquist Previews Biden’s SOTU for The Star News Network

Washington, D.C. – The Americans for Tax Reform president told The Star News Network that President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has an uphill battle when he gives his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress here.

“Because his polling numbers are down, because people blame him for inflation and blame him for energy costs, he needs to redirect the entire discussion between now and the election,” said Grover Norquist, the Massachusetts resident, who founded ATR in 1985 at the personal request of President Ronald W. Reagan, so that the conservation movement would have an organization on-call to fight against tax increases and for tax cuts.

Norquist said other presidents have been in the same trough, but an additional twist adds to his problems.

“This is something Richard Nixon would have to do sometimes, or Reagan would have to do it,” he said.

“The problem being that when Reagan could speak to the American people, it was a moment when the establishment press wasn’t,” he said. “Biden has had the establishment press on his side, and he’s still losing or unable to convince us.”

Norquist said another one of Biden’s challenges is what to do with his Build Back Better plan, and opposition for Senator Joseph Manchin II (D.-W.V.) and Senator Kyrsten L. Sinema (D.-Ariz.).

“Biden’s goal was a $5 trillion spending plan over a 10-year period, and right now, Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, and Sinema, the Democratic senator from Arizona, have both said “we’re not voting for the size plan you want or the kind of tax increases you want,” he said.

“Manchin: ‘Don’t tax energy.’ Sinema: ‘Don’t raise rates.’ OK, that makes what you can do much smaller,” he said.

The president intended to use the Senate’s reconciliation rule, which exempts the annual budget from the filibuster, which extends debate, thus preventing a floor vote.

“He could, theoretically, get two packages,” the Weston, Massachusetts, native said. “Every year, you’re allowed one reconciliation package where you only need 50 votes plus the vice president, so they could do two; however, think of all the people you’re leaving out.”

What made the hefty $5 billion BBB plan attractive to the Biden and the Democrats was that it loaded so many spending programs on one piece of legislation, so it could all be done at once, he said.

“If you did two little packages, instead of the one really big one, the people who are being pushed out of bed are going to go screaming and kicking,” he said. “How do you put together 50 votes for one or two smaller versions, when half the progressive movement is going to go ‘we want it all,’ but you can’t get it all because Manchin and Sinema say no?”

Norquist said that even though Republicans are in the minority in both chambers on Capitol Hill, there are still actions they can take.

“The Republicans are in a tough position because they don’t have a majority in the Senate ever unless you get Democratic votes, and you have no majority in the House,” he said.

“You can, in the Senate, force certain votes that at least put people on record as to where they are, going in the next election, and sometimes the House can get votes forced as well, in order to go after Democrats who vote for unpopular positions,” the Harvard University graduate said.

“The best thing is to see how many votes you can get to put people on the record, and then say ‘here are the three or four things that we would do if we had a majority.’”

Watch the interview:

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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network based in Washington. He is an Army Reserve public affairs NCO and an Iraq War veteran. Send him news tips: [email protected] Follow him on TruthSocial & GETTR: @ReporterMcCabe.


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