Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss breaks from “no tax increases” pledge

This might not make Grover Norquist very happy, but it might signal that Republicans are finally getting serious about dealing with our nation’s debt.

Senator Saxby Chambliss this week became the latest Republican lawmaker to loosen his ties to Grover Norquist, the anti-tax lobbyist famous for getting elected officials to sign a “taxpayer protection pledge.”

The rebellion, albeit a modest one, comes as Republicans prepare to negotiate with Democrats and President Barack Obama on a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff – some $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to start jolting the economy at the beginning of 2013.

“I care more about this country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” Chambliss told Georgia television station WMAZ on Thursday. “If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”