In the end, while the majority of House Republicans didn’t go along with the Democrat-favored plan to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff,” enough of them did to get the deal done.
The plan that was passed late Tuesday night achieved President Barack Obama’s goal of allowing taxes on the highest income bracket to rise from 35 percent back to the Bill Clinton-era level, 39.6 percent. Likewise, the significant cuts to government spending sought by Republicans weren’t ultimately included — the $109 billion worth of across-the-board cuts that would have accompanied an inability to reach a deal are delayed,
While 151 House Republicans voted against it, 85 voted for the deal which was seen as a bipartisan compromise by many, enough to pass the bill by a 257-167 count after the Senate approved it 89-8 less than 24 hours earlier.
Somerset’s own Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers was one of those in the GOP to vote yes. Despite the deal proving controversial among his fellow party members, Rogers stressed the need for immediate action, even though he didn’t sound happy about all of the legislation’s details either.
“The fiscal cliff deal requires much more work, but the good news is it saves nearly all Kentuckians from an immediate tax hike,” said Rogers in a statement Wednesday. “While the White House refuses to address our nation’s overspending and $16 trillion national debt, this Congress must stand firm on fiscal responsibility and hold the president to his promise for a "balanced" approach.
As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers has touted his work over the last couple of years reducing government spending. He took that mindset when considering the plan that was just passed.
“Our nation's problem is not that we tax too little, it is we spend too much,” said Rogers. “While we avert many tax hikes tomorrow, the reality is that the fiscal cliff just got steeper. This deal is void of vital spending cuts and I can only hope the same bi-partisan spirit will carry on as we shift our focus to paying down our debt and reducing our deficit through meaningful reform.”