Yesterday, the Club for Growth put out a statement from Chris Chocola opposing the tax cut deal.
The plan would resurrect the Death Tax, grow government, blow a hole in the deficit with unpaid-for spending, and do so without providing the permanent relief and security our economy needs to finally start hiring and growing again. Instead, Congress should pass a permanent extension of current rates, including a permanent repeal of the death tax, and drop all new spending.
I asked David Keating, the executive director of the Club for Growth, if this meant that Republicans who ended up supporting the deal could expect the Club to support primary challengers .
"No, I don't see that happening," said Keating. "We want to push them hard and get the best deal possible. But this is choice between having legislators do nothing, which would result in a tax increase, and voting for some temporary tax cuts that aren't everything we'd like. We're not discussing whether to increase the death tax from 0 to 35 percent. We're discussing whether to let it go to 55 percent. So this is not something I see someone getting a challenge on."
In 2010, the Club for Growth provided key support to Republicans in Utah, Florida, and other states, challenging GOP incumbents who had made compromises with Democrats on spending, environmental legislation, and taxes. Keating did say that Republicans could face primary challenges, backed by the Club, on other legislation -- just not on this.