How they voted on the fiscal cliff
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Both of Georgia’s U.S. senators approved the “fiscal cliff” deal signed into law Wednesday, but it was opposed by most of the state’s House of Representatives delegation.Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson voted in favor of the deal, called the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Effingham County’s two members of the House of Representatives, Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) and John Barrow (D-Augusta), did not support it. The bill passed 89-8 in the Senate and 257-167 in the House. Nine of Georgia’s 13 members of the House eligible to vote on the bill voted against it. "This 11th-hour negotiation is no way to run a country,” Isakson said in a release, “but I voted for this agreement because it protects 99 percent of Americans from a tax increase, permanently protects tens of thousands of farmers and family businesses from having to pay the estate tax upon the death of a loved one, and permanently fixes the alternative minimum tax to protect some 30 million households a year from having to pay it. I am also pleased that this agreement reinstates the pay freeze for members of Congress. Now, it is time for the president to get serious about spending cuts and entitlement reforms, and I look forward to enacting significant measures in the coming weeks that will reduce our debt."

Barrow, who also championed no pay increase for Congressmen, said the current deal doesn’t solve the long-term problems of tax reform, spending or deficit reduction.

I can't support a plan that does nothing to address our debt, doesn’t make the necessary cuts in federal spending we need right now, and sets us up for another fiscal cliff in just a couple of months,” he said. “I’m glad negotiators answered our call to block a pay increase for members of Congress, but it’s not nearly enough to put this country on the right path. This proposal isn’t a long-term solution -- it just kicks the can two months down the road.”In a release, Barrow called the nation’s debt “unsustainable” and added federal spending is “out of control.”    “Without seriously reforming our tax code, families in Georgia and across the country, regardless of their income levels, will pay more in taxes than is necessary,” he said. “We need bold action to ensure that future generations aren’t saddled with our debt, but partisanship is holding us back.  I’ll continue to work with my colleagues in the House to address these issues, but the bare minimum, like his package, isn’t good enough for the folks I represent.”

Kingston also said the goal was to address tax rates and reduce the deficit but the proposal passed and signed by President Obama did not address cutting the deficit.

 “Delaying the spending cuts – the ones already on in August 2011 – is especially worrisome,” he said. “Does anyone really believe attitudes toward less spending will be any different in March than they are today?  The fiscal cliff deadline was created in August 2011 and nothing happened in the Senate until last week.  If we did not get religion in 16 months, I doubt we’ll get it in two. “According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the package we passed actually adds $4 trillion to the national debt,” Kingston added. “With $600 billion in new taxes, it contains $10 in tax increases for every $1 in spending reduction. This merely increases the deficit rather than shrinks it, and we could have done better.”  

Latest Activity: Jan 05, 2013 at 5:06 PM

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