Congressman Poe Votes NO on Fiscal Cliff "Deal"

Here in Washington, Congress rang in the New Year, but it was certainly not a happy one. After months of debate, the House voted last night on the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.” I voted "no" because this so-called “deal” is toxic for American families and small businesses. Make no mistake about it: this bill is not intended to pay down the deficit. It is just another massive Washington spending bill in disguise. And the American people will once again be left to pick up the tab.

According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, this "deal" in effect would raise taxes on 77% of U.S. Households by letting the payroll tax cut expire for all Americans and raising income taxes on those making $400,000 or above. And President Obama promises that there will be even more tax increases to come. It also extends unemployment benefits for a year. Congress should quit paying people not to work. Rather it should encourage businesses to create more jobs and pay people to work.

Even more striking is the absence of any real spending cuts. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would add $4 trillion in new deficit spending. With a $16 trillion national debt, the last thing we need is more spending. We got into this mess by spending too much, not taxing too little. How can the federal government ask the American people to pay more to foot the bill of its continued spending spree? This kind of behavior is irresponsible.

I could not support a plan that allows Washington to carry on with its reckless "business as usual" behavior at the expense of those who we were sent here to serve---the American people.”

Americans share of the public debt: 1970-2036 (projected) In addition, yesterday I cosponsored and voted for a bill to stop a pay raise for Members of Congress (H.R. 6726, the Congressional Pay Freeze and Fiscal Responsibility Act). This bill was in response to President Obama’s Executive Order to increase the salaries. I have repeatedly voted against pay raises for Members of Congress, and I am pleased that this bill passed the House yesterday. At a time when we face a spending crisis of this magnitude, Members of Congress should not be getting a penny more. And that’s just the way it is.



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