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.
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.
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.