Hampton Roads lawmakers voted no on fiscal cliff deal

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by 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 2 at 6:41 PM

How lawmakers in the WVEC-TV viewing area voted:

NO: Rep. Bobby Scott (D-3rd D.), Rep. Scott Rigell (R-2nd D.), Rep. Rob Wittman (R-1st D.), Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4th D.)

YES:  Rep. GK Butterfield (D-1st D., NC)

To see how your lawmaker voted, click here.

WITTMAN STATEMENT:
“I regretfully voted against the American Taxpayer Relief Act today because it unfortunately does what Congress does best – kicks the can down the road. While I support low tax rates for Americans and have previously voted to ensure taxes do not go up on hardworking Americans, I could not vote for this bill because it does nothing to reform our long-term spending problems, which are the real drivers of our debt and deficits. In addition, this bill postpones sequestration, the disastrous defense cuts, for only two months. This creates even more uncertainty for our defense industry, which is so vital to the security of this nation. This bill is the epitome of what is wrong with Washington – waiting until the very last minute to pass a package negotiated by only a few. On this New Year’s Day, I am deeply disappointed that we are not moving forward with what is best for this Nation – a sustainable, long-term path that will place us on strong financial footing for our children and grandchildren.”

SCOTT STATEMENT: 

"The Simpson-Bowles Commission set a $4 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction goal, which would be enough to get our fiscal house in order. Considering that deficit reduction goal, I voted against this bill because it cut taxes and will add a staggering $3.9 trillion to our deficit with no indication of how it will be paid for.

"Unfortunately, there are now very few options available to Congress to offset the cost of this tax deal. There simply isn't enough money in defense and non-defense discretionary spending to offset the cost. If spending cuts in defense and non-defense discretionary spending alone was the answer then we wouldn't be delaying sequestration for two months as this bill does. By virtue of the size of this tax cut, it is an arithmetic certainty that Congress will have to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other vital programs of the social safety net, as well as investments in our future economic competitiveness, such as education and transportation.

"Responsibly reducing our budget deficit requires making tough, unpopular choices. We didn't do that today since this bill does nothing to reduce our deficit. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will add $3.9 trillion to our deficit. It does, however, make the task of responsibly reducing our deficit all the more difficult and makes it much more likely that seniors, the disabled, students, and our most vulnerable communities will bear the greatest burden when Congress eventually pays for what we did today."

RIGELL STATEMENT:
"I have consistently called for a comprehensive solution to our nation's fiscal crisis, one that reduces spending - the principal driver of our deficit - and generates more revenue through tax reform and economic growth. While the bill that came to the floor does generate additional revenue, it fails to reduce spending. In fact it increases spending.

"The President called for a balanced approach to our fiscal crisis, which, in principle, I fully support. But the bill we received from the Senate was not balanced. Instead, it reflects the seductive philosophy that pervades this town: 'The fight is always around the corner.' This has to end.

"The time to lead and make tough decisions to restore our nation's financial health is now. There is a better way. We're Americans. Let's find it."

 

 

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