Idaho Reps. Labrador and Simpson comment on opposing Fiscal Cliff votes
The United States House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to pass the Fiscal Cliff deal passed by the United States Senate on Monday night. Senators Crapo and Risch both voted "Yea" for the plan, but Idaho's two House members did not agree with each other. Rep. Labrador voted "Nay" and Rep. Simpson voted "Yea".
Both representatives issued statements Tuesday night.
Rep. Labrador released the following statement -
“Like I have been saying for months, bills that pass during lame duck sessions are not good for the country. This was a difficult vote, but as far as I am concerned the Biden-McConnell deal is worse than no deal at all. It temporarily ends the debate but does nothing to solve the problems that our country faces—in fact, it is a perfect example of why our country is $16 trillion in debt. The deal does nothing to address out of control spending and delays the only meaningful cuts Congress has been able to pass in the last two years.
"The president campaigned on a promise of a balanced approach--$2.50 in spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases. Today's deal does not even accomplish that goal. The problems that have brought us to the edge of this ‘fiscal cliff’ can never be fixed with revenues alone. Both parties must rein in out-of-control spending. Today, I’m not sure either party is serious about reducing our debt and deficits.
"Families across the country have had to learn how to do more with less but Washington has not been willing to do the same. Both parties and the president need to put partisan politics and tactics aside and actually make meaningful decisions that will fix our fiscal mess.”
Rep. Simpson released the following statement -
“While I remain a strong proponent of a more comprehensive approach to solving our nation’s long-term fiscal crisis, this bill is a critical piece of legislation that lowers taxes for nearly every taxpayer,” said Simpson. “The unfortunate reality is that under current law every taxpayer was hit today with a tax increase. The bill we passed blocks those tax increases for nearly all Americans -- effectively lowering the taxes they were to begin paying today. It is also important to note that H.R. 8 will provide permanent tax certainty for individuals, families, businesses, and farmers who are ready to invest their money but have been reluctant to do so without knowing how much they’ll be taxed. Resolution of the tax rate uncertainty is critical to economic recovery and job creation.
"Among its many provisions, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act would:
· Protect individuals making less than $400,000 and families making less than $450,000 from the tax increases contained in current law.
· Allow the payroll tax cut to expire.
· Enact a permanent patch to the Alternative Minimum tax which was set to impact up to 30 million Americans.
· Provide a $10 million per couple exemption from the estate tax.
· Prevent a 27 percent reduction in payments to Medicare providers.
· Extends unemployment benefits through 2013.
“The passage of this bill does not diminish the fact that Congress and the White House must remain committed to a much larger and more comprehensive package of deficit reduction measures in the very near future. That package must include significant reductions in discretionary spending and major reforms to both entitlement programs and our outdated tax code. These reforms should be aimed not only at reducing our deficit in significant ways, but at creating a pro-growth tax code and putting entitlement programs on a much stronger path toward solvency for both current and future retirees.”