East TN reps address why they voted "no" on the fiscal cliff bill

6:31 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
  • Jimmy Duncan
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While many are breathing a sigh of relief about the fiscal cliff, nearly all of our Tennessee congressmen disagree with the outcome.

All but one Tennessee representative voted against the fiscal cliff bill that passed the House on New Year's Day.

"The entire Tennessee delegation was together on this," said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-District 3).

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-District 9) voted in favor of the bill.

"I could not vote for a bill that added 4 trillion dollars to our national debt over the next 10 years," said Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-District 2). "My position was that we should have cut taxes and reduced spending. This bill not only had $620 billion worth of tax increases but it also provided for huge increases in spending."

"It did not address the tax situation adequately and it continues to borrow and spend," said Fleischmann.

"While I am glad to see hardworking Americans will get much-needed permanent tax relief, I could not, in good faith, support legislation that does not address our spending problem," said Rep. Phil Roe (R-District 1) in a statement issued Tuesday.

The lawmakers also said they voted for a bill that passed in August that they believe better dealt with the tax cuts and sequestration.

They are frustrated that sequestration-- a set of automatic spending cuts to government programs-- was postponed for two months.

"It kicked the can down the road and said we'll deal with sequestration in two months and we still have to address the debt ceiling," Fleischmann said.

Both Duncan and Fleischmann said the delay of those issues will mean there are still many more battles to come.

In Kentucky, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-District 5), was the only Republican in that state to vote yes.

In the Senate, the bill passed by a large majority on New Year's Day. Both Tennessee senators voted for it.

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