House passes "fiscal cliff" bill, 257-167

The House of Representatives voted late Tuesday night to pass the Senate-engineered bargain that would halt tax increases on those making less than $450,000 per year, and delay the automatic “sequestration” spending cuts.  The bill passed 257-167, with substantial Republican opposition.  151 Republicans voted against the deal, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), while Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) voted in favor, as did 2012 vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

It looks as if there will still be some higher taxes on the middle class, since the 2 percent payroll “tax cut” funded out of Social Security taxes was not extended.  With the sequestration spending cuts postponed, more unemployment spending packed into the current bill, and President Obama taking to the air immediately after the vote to call for even more spending, it looks as if the net result of the fiscal cliff drama will be the deficit increasing substantially.  The President also called for an increase in the debt ceiling without further debate.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) swiftly issued a statement denouncing the fiscal cliff deal:

“Today, the trillion-dollar ObamaCare tax increase begins and Washington maxed out its credit card yet again, and in response, Washington punts. This is just another deal by Washington insiders ??? with no real solutions. Small businesses and the next generation will ultimately pay for the three-strikes of this bill: higher taxes, more spending, and no entitlement reform.???

???There has been no shortage of time to forge a solution to America???s fiscal crisis, but a lack of courage and will. The so-called ???fiscal cliff??? is a Washington-made problem ??? the result of years of last-minute deals designed to avoid real solutions. But, eventually Washington must face the fiscal abyss left in the wake of too much spending, too much borrowing, and too much government.???

???Deal after deal, elected officials with principles and convictions are told ???Wait until next time. We???ll get to the serious business of the nation then.??? But, deal after deal, those elected officials find themselves disappointed with unfulfilled promises. Despite a tremendous mandate from voters in 2010 to cut spending, get America???s fiscal house under control, and restore proper procedure, this House of Representatives has achieved few or no real accomplishments. It is a disappointing ending to a disappointing two years.???