…because if we can’t police our own, then the Republican Party no longer represents conservatives.
Tonight was the most expensive punt in American history. Sequestration in 60 days, debt ceiling in 60 days, $3.9 trillion in added debt regardless, and a 41:1 ratio in increased taxation to spending cuts, with an average tax increase of $1,635 on the American family making $50,000 or more.
Frankly, I’m speechless — and more than a bit angry. I’m floored that this was the end result. Simpson-Bowles would have been better than this… this… steaming pile of horse crap.
Update: Virginia’s delegation nearly unanimously voted against HR 8. Democrat Gerry Connolly being the only one to vote in favor of the bill.
Here are some notable statements from House members.
“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.”
“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.”
“The Senate proposal provides permanent tax relief to most Americans, and I believe that is a step in the right direction toward creating certainty for our families and small business owners. The proposal also enacts permanent estate tax relief for our small businesses and family farmers who need certainty in our tax code. But at a time when we as a nation own a 16 trillion dollar debt and borrow 45 cents on every dollar we spend, this legislation does absolutely nothing to address the federal government’s spending problem – in fact it only adds to it.
“At a time when members of both parties agree that we need to cut spending, the Senate proposal makes virtually no spending cuts. At a time when we all know that our Social Security and Medicare programs are primary drivers of our spending, this legislation makes no necessary reforms. And, inexplicably, at a time when reining in reckless spending should be our primary concern, this legislation proposes billions of dollars in new spending.
“Reasonable people can disagree whether or not to support this Senate compromise. In fairness to those that voted yes, there are some good things in the bill. However, increasing spending for programs and paying for a two month delay of sequestration in part with new “revenues” were items that I could not support. In reviewing bills, I look at the short-term as well as the long-term consequences because they will affect our children and grandchildren for years to come. Passing a bill that raises revenues with only minor cuts is not a balanced approach, and is an approach that adds to the debt our children and grandchildren will be responsible for paying back.”
“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.”