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Congresswoman-Elect Talks Fiscal Cliff, Grover Norquist & Taxes

The next U.S. Representative for Missouri's 2nd District, Ann Wagner answered Patch users' questions in a Thursday afternoon interview

The tweet came down Thursday from House Majority Leader U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va): "The House will not adjourn the 112th Congress until a credible solution to the fiscal cliff has been announced."

As negotiations to avert deep automatic spending cuts and tax increases beginning January 1, House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama met at the White House Thursday.

Representative-Elect Ann Wagner, meanwhile, is one of 70 incoming freshman in the 113th session, sitting interested, waiting in the wings.

The Ballwin Republican sat down with Patch Thursday afternoon in her former campaign headquarters to answer questions about the fiscal cliff, and to answer questions posed by Patch users.

Fiscal Cliff

Wagner said she's participated in briefings and conference calls regarding where things stand regarding efforts to reach agreement on taxes and spending cuts due to kick in January, but is not otherwise involved, even though she would like it if that were the case.

Like her other colleagues waiting to be sworn in next month, she's been busy on a daily basis winding down her campaign apparatus and getting ready to open Congressional offices here in the new second district and in Washington. 

Having said that, Wagner, who campaigned on a platform that pledged to cut government spending, called out President Obama's offer of a new round of stimulus spending as an offer not made in good faith.

"A new stimulus that doesn't reign in the debt, that doesnt limit spending, that doesnt begin to address entitlement reform is not a serious approach," she said. 

Wagner added that while she's on the sidelines now during the lame duck end of the current session, she hopes that whatever happens in the last few weeks of this term is a "down payment" as far as work still to be done once she takes office when it comes to entitlement reform and reductions in spending.

Grover Norquist

A Patch user wanted to know if Wagner signed the pledge introduced by Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform, vowing not to raise taxes. 

Wagner said she did, calling Norquist a friend, and "a great champion of the taxpayer." But she also had a caveat.

"I do believe there is a way to stay true to not raising income taxes but still what we would call 'putting revenues on the table' with tax reform," which she said would include reform loopholes in the tax code.

Monday on Patch, we'll have more of our conversation with Representative-Elect Wagner, talking about some of the challenges of making the transition from candidate to Congresswoman, how she views her role in Washington, and we'll see if she's received any advice from outgoing U.S. Reps. Todd Akin and Russ Carnahan.

flyoverland December 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I am so conservative, I think Grover is a Democrat. However, what kind of dope would sign something like this? You will "never" raise taxes? What if a meteorite is heading for earth and we need to raise a trillion dollars to build something to deflect it. Count me in. What if the Chinese blockade our coastline and we need to ramp up the military? How much do you want? What if a devastating drought wipes out our breadbasket and people are starving? Who is going to argue? I am against raising taxes to fund profligate spending to buy votes like Obama wants to do. But, I would never say I would "never" raise taxes. You never, ever shut off all your options.
Ken Keune December 15, 2012 at 12:33 AM
So this woman has made a pledge to Norquist before she makes a pledge to me? In my opinion, all who sign a pledge to Norquist should be tried for treason, because that is what they are committing. You can't have allegiance to Norquist and the US flag. If I'm paying her salary, she better not be kissing his derriere.
E. Witzen December 15, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Congrats, Missouri, we elected her. She's doing the bidding of Grover Norquist, who cast how many votes for her? Or the Koch brothers? Or Karl Rove? Oh well. That's why it's called "representative" government, right? Meanwhile, can someone just remind her and others that under Bill Clinton we had a budget SURPLUS and had begun paying down the debt, and it was that buffoon Alan Greenspan who warned AGAINST paying it down too quickly and cutting taxes to prevent this? You know, the same genius Alan Greenspan who twiddled his thumbs as the housing bubble inflated and inflated, and the country piled on debt through more tax cuts, unfunded wars, unregulated securitization, etc.? Talk bout a policy #FAIL!
flyoverland December 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Let's not give Bill Clinton that much credit. He was the beneficiary of the birth of the internet and we all know Al Gore invented that. Clinton did nothing to help business, in fact, his policies were very anti-growth. I can tell you stories that would curl your hair about deal with Clinton's regulators. He was lucky to be in the right place at the right time of history and to have left town before 9-11 and its attendant costs which both parties embraced.
Sheldon J Harber December 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Everone right now can prepare for the fiscal cliff. Time is running out, only until 12/31. Tax planning and IRA's. http://www.assetstrategiesinc.com/fiscal-cliff-financial-planning-part-2/

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