Third District Congressman Chuck Fleischmann was not among supporters of the fiscal cliff bill that passed the House of Representatives on New Year's Day.
He said, “Months ago, the House passed bills that extended tax cuts for all Americans and responsibly dealt with sequestration. Unfortunately the Senate waited until the final days of the year to look at any solutions. What they produced does nothing more than kick the can down the road on the most serious issue facing our nation.
“As I have long said, we have a spending problem not a revenue problem.
The bill sent back to the House not only allowed taxes to increase but increased spending by $330 billion. It was simply something I could not support.”
Supporting the Senate version of the bill were 85 Republicans and 172 Democrats. Opposed were 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats.
Justin Wilkins, state director with The Action Tennessee, said, “This is a victory for middle class families that were worried about the tough choices they would have had to make with $2,200 less in their pockets had Congress failed to act. It is a huge victory for most Americans who believe the wealthiest among us should chip in their fair share to address our long-term budget challenges and for critical investments that create and sustain jobs.”
Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Founders Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson issued this statement:
“The ‘fiscal cliff’ deal is truly a missed opportunity to do something big to reduce our long term fiscal problems, but it is a small step forward in our efforts to reduce the federal deficit. It follows on the $1 trillion reduction in spending that was done in last year’s Budget Control Act. While both steps advance the efforts to put our fiscal house in order, neither one nor the combination of the two come close to solving our Nation's debt and deficit problems. Our leaders must now have the courage to reform our tax code and entitlement programs such that we stabilize our debt and put it on a downward path as a percent of the economy.
"Washington missed this magic moment to do something big to reduce the deficit, reform our tax code, and fix our entitlement programs. We have all known for over a year that this fiscal cliff was coming. In fact Washington politicians set it up to force themselves to seriously deal with our Nation’s long term fiscal problems. Yet even after taking the Country to the brink of economic disaster, Washington still could not forge a common sense bipartisan consensus on a plan that stabilizes the debt.
"It is now more critical than ever that policymakers return to negotiations that will build on the terms of this agreement and the spending cuts in the Budget Control Act. These future negotiations will need to make the far more difficult reforms that bring spending further under control, make our entitlement programs sustainable and solvent, and reform our tax code to both promote growth and produce revenue. We take some encouragement from the statements by the President and leaders in Congress that they recognize more work needs to be done. In order to reach an agreement, it will be absolutely necessary for both sides to move beyond their comfort zone and reach a principled agreement on a comprehensive plan which puts the debt on a clear downward path relative to the economy.”