WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nuhr) has sidestepped a question about whether anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is a positive influence on Republican lawmakers.The Ohio Republican responded to the query by saying he's not often asked about "some random person in America."The conservative Norquist has become a major factor in Washington by getting many members of Congress — including nearly all Republicans — to sign a pledge promising to oppose and vote against tax increases.The adamant opposition to higher taxes among many Republicans is one reason why Congress' special debt-cutting "supercommittee" has been unable so far to reach a compromise on mopping up red ink.Boehner said that Republicans oppose tax increases because they weaken the economy and throw Americans out of work.

Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm of our readers it has become necessary to transfer our commenting system to a more scalable system in order handle the content.