Fiscal cliff notes

A stomach churning plunge off the fiscal cliff was averted Tuesday, night, as the U.S. House of Representatives approved an eleventh-hour compromise. Most of Wisconsin’s representatives in Washington have now posted their statements online.

The House approved a package that had passed the U.S. Senate on New Year’s Eve, and among those voting in favor in that chamber was Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson.

“Although I strongly prefer extension of current tax rates for all Americans, I supported the compromise bill that protects 99% of Wisconsinites from an income tax increase, limits the death tax, and prevents a dramatic increase in milk prices.”

Perhaps just as surprising as Johnson’s support for the measure was that of Janesville’s Paul Ryan, the recent vice-presidential candidate and ideas man of the GOP on fiscal issues.

“The House has already passed legislation to prevent tax increases for every American family, and it is unfortunate that President Obama insisted on taking more from hardworking taxpayers. Despite my concerns with other provisions in the bill, I commend my colleagues for limiting the damage as much as possible.”

Fox Valley Republican Reid Ribble also was on board.

“Going over the fiscal cliff would mean tax increases on everyone and that is not what our fragile economy needs right now. I have said time and again that we should keep tax rates where they are until comprehensive tax reform can be achieved, and this bill does that for nearly 99 percent of all Americans.”

Three GOP members of the Wisconsin delegation were on the no side of the 257-to-167 vote: Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Sean Duffy. Sensenbrenner statement is from several days ago, updated his statement today.

“The so-called deal doesn’t promote economic growth or job creation, it discourages it. Rather than address the drivers of our debt problem, it completely avoids any serious spending reform. I don’t want taxes to go up on anyone. I have spent my career fighting to help Wisconsinites keep more of their own money. But this deal only prolongs a debt crisis that will surely hand the taxpayers a bigger bill in the long term and threaten our economic growth. “

Petri doesn’t have a statement on his site as of yet released a statement this morning.

“I am totally in favor of extending the tax cuts for the middle class, but other than that, this is not the deal I expected. I thought the deal was supposed to be that Republicans would compromise on raising taxes, and Democrats would compromise on cutting spending.  But that didn’t happen.  Instead we got higher taxes and bigger deficits.  That’s not what I consider progress.”

Milwaukee Democrat Gwen Moore noted the deal doesn’t please everybody – or solve longer term problems.

“In two months we will once again have to debate raising the debt ceiling and address the automatic spending cuts included in the sequestration. It is my sincere hope that the GOP does not try to take a hatchet to the much needed social programs that will be necessary in keeping our economy moving forward.”

La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind’s office e-mailed a statement Tuesday night.

“There is still a lot to do, including a comprehensive agreement to get our fiscal house in order and our deficits under control. I still believe we must go big and find real savings in defense, health care, and tax reform to get ourselves on a sustainable fiscal path. As we enter the 113th Congress this week, it’s time to roll our sleeves up and really get to work.”


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