Norquist: Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Should Be on C-SPAN

By Melanie Arter | November 28, 2012 | 10:45 AM EST

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (AP Photo)

( – Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Wednesday that the negotiations between congressional leaders and the president on the fiscal cliff should be televised on C-SPAN.

“Two things, quickly, it has to be on C-SPAN. Why? Because only then will the president have to say, and Boehner can say, ‘Your spending cuts are what?’ Now CBS hasn’t done that to him. NBC hasn’t done that to him. Washington Post hasn’t done that to him. He’s wandering around campaigning, and nobody says, ‘You’re talking about savings. What are they?’” Norquist told Politico’s Mike Allen during Politico’s Playbook Breakfast.

Norquist said if the negotiations were on C-SPAN, “You can’t have the situation where Republicans get [asked], ‘Why don’t you raise taxes?’ all day and no focus on spending.”

He also advocated putting the bill online so that everyone has the chance to see it in a reasonable timeframe.

“Second, once the bill is written, it needs to be online so that everybody can go on their computer and read it and guys in the press can read it and talk radio can read it and citizens can read it – not just congressman, not just the lobbyists in Washington, D.C.,” Norquist said.

“This is not Obamacare, where Pharma and the insurance companies are writing the bill and surprise to the American people. If you do those two things, you will not get a bad bill,” he said.

Norquist pointed out that Obama promised in 2008 to post the health care overhaul bill online and give the public enough time to read it.

“Let’s actually have it transparency, and the reason this is particularly fun is Obama in 2008 promised he’d do Obamacare and other big bills in front of C-SPAN – didn’t, but he said he would. And two, they’ve all promised – [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi, [House Speaker John] Boehner and the president – that bills would be online for a readable time. It needs to be seven days for something this sophisticated,” he added.