Votes split on imperfect solution to ‘fiscal cliff’Two Wisconsin congressmen on opposite sides of the political aisle agree on parts of the so-called fiscal cliff legislation signed into law Wednesday by President Obama.
By: By Mike Simonson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Two Wisconsin congressmen on opposite sides of the political aisle agree on parts of the so-called fiscal cliff legislation signed into law Wednesday by President Obama.
Even as the House voted 257 to 167 to pass legislation that avoided the “fiscal cliff,” freshman Republican Congressman Sean Duffy of Weston, Wis., was one of the conservatives voting against the bill.
He says many of the “no” votes came because there weren’t spending cuts.
“This deal kicked those cuts down the road another two months,” Duffy said. So on balance, there’s some good tax provisions but because of the lack of spending reform, I decided to vote against it.”
Duffy says the brinksmanship is frustrating.
“With the wheels of the car tipping over the cliff, we had a deal reached,” Duffy said. “Frankly for me, I look at a deal that’s put together in the idle of the night, you know and people are either asleep or half in the bag on New Year’s Eve is not the best way policy should be driven forward.
“Listen. It was an imperfect solution to an imperfect process,” said Democratic Congressman Ron Kind of western Wisconsin. “We still have a lot of work to do to get our fiscal house in order. Without getting this done, it would have jeopardized the economic recovery.”
He says the two months to come up with spending cuts is enough time, as long as the new 113th Congress isn’t also plagued with gridlock.
“Too many of my colleagues came to Washington with this ‘my way or the highway’ attitude,” Kind said. “That’s a recipe for disaster for any democracy or for any family for that matter. I mean, you have to compromise.”
Kind favors cuts to the Department of Defense and curtailing rising health care costs.
Duffy says across the board agency and entitlement program reductions are needed.