That's what he's hearing, anyway.
"I'm told they think the Senate bill will pass sometime tonight," Grover Norquist, the Americans for Tax Reform founder and keeper of the Tax Pledge, told ABC News in a phone interview.
"Both parts" of the House GOP conference have told him so, Norquist said. He would not confirm that he meant wings represented by Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, but he said he's heard "two different perspectives on it."
Norquist said he wants the House to pass the Senate deal. He previously lent his approval to Boehner's "Plan B" proposal, which would have raised taxes on $1M+ earners. Despite the lower $400k/$450k threshold (and thus larger tax hike) in the Senate deal, Norquist urged the House Republicans to pass it without adding spending cuts, as they suggested doing earlier today.
"The House should move on this because mixing up tax issues and spending issues is a fool's errand. It is putting piranha in the goldfish tank, because the taxes will eat up all the spending cuts," Norquist said, suggesting Democrats would demand more taxes in exchange for House GOP demands on spending. "The bigger the deal you're talking about, the bigger the tax increase you're looking at."
When asked about the difference between the Senate deal and Boehner's "Plan B," which Norquist deemed would not violate his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, he compared saving taxpayers from a rate hike to saving drowning passengers on a sinking ship. If you can save 90 of 100, Norquist said, you do it.
" You can't save all 100, so I'm not going to try? I don't think that's what the Red Cross guys teach you," Norquist said. "Get as many out as you can. Save as many taxpayers as you can. That's what this fight is about right now. The next fight is over spending."