Wolf Votes 'No' on Fiscal Cliff Deal

Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb vote yes in legislation passed Tuesday.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 8, the Tax Relief Extension Act, Tuesday night, a permanent extension of many Bush-era tax cuts by a vote of 257 to 167. The late-night vote was taken at 10:57 p.m.

The legislation keeps the Bush era tax cuts for individuals making less than $400,000 and couples making less that $450,000. It also makes permanent the fixes for the Alternative Minimum Tax and delays government spending cuts for two months.

Here's the breakdown of Northern Virginia's votes Tuesday on the so-called "fiscal cliff" legislation, which the Senate passed early Tuesday morning:

  • Sen. Mark Warner: "yea"
  • Sen. Jim Webb: "yea"
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th): "yea"
  • Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th): "nay"
  • Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th): "nay"

The legislation came to a vote Tuesday night in the House after it was passed by the Senate in the early hours Tuesday morning. Webb and Warner voted for the Senate measure. The Senate vote was 89 "yeas" and eight "nays." Three senators did not vote.

The votes were taken at the 11th hour, as a new Congress — including Virginia's new Senator-elect Tim Kaine — is set to be sworn in Thursday. Sen. Webb is retiring from the Senate.

"The Senate has acted to avoid the immediate fiscal cliff, but this negotiated agreement does little to address our deficits and it does not raise enough revenue to put our country on a path to reduce our long-term debt," Warner said in a statement.

"In coming weeks, we still must reach agreement on steps to generate more revenues, make additional spending cuts, and strengthen and reform our entitlement programs so successful programs like Medicare and Social Security will still exist 30 years from now," Warner noted.

In the House, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) voted against the measure.

“My opposition to the measure before the House tonight is rooted in my belief that the plan does not go far enough to address our nation’s fiscal issues. For more than six years, I have forcefully spoken out about the dire need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order," he said in a statement after the vote. "I have made thoughtful and serious recommendations for a way forward and have voted for substantial legislation to get our nation back on solid financial footing, including the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission recommendations."

“While I support the portions of the plan that extend tax cuts for most Americans, particularly the permanent relief of the Alternative Minimum Tax, I also know that at a time when our national debt is more than $16 trillion and climbing, the deal fails to seriously address government spending and entitlement reform. Regrettably, the bill actually includes hundreds billions of dollars in new spending," he said.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) voted for the bill and indicated earlier Tuesday before the vote he would do so only by "holding my nose." 

“This is not a perfect package, but it is something that gets us by until we can tackle the larger issues in the next Congress,” Connolly said. “I pray God that the next Congress is more willing to compromise than this one.”

Wolf added "until the President and Congress have the courage to deal with these issues we will never solve the problem. Too much is at stake for us to continue to kick the can down the road. It is time to get serious and make the tough – and right – decisions for our nation.”

Paul January 03, 2013 at 02:05 PM
The time to work on difficult and substantial change was all those months between the debt ceiling deal that established the conditions for the financial cliff, and the deadealine, once it got down to the last two weeks, you had missed your chance. Voting against the compromise deal was just a symbolic way of trying to present the image that you were trying to do something principled. An 11th hour insistence on starting to do a much bigger job is just foolish. If you wanted to start that work, you were late by about three months.
Donnmaria Killinger January 03, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I believe Simon & Paul hit the nail directly on its head. Instead of the 11th hour, OUR Senators and Representatives, whom we, the people, elected to represent us should have done exactly that.....represent us. Not themselves or their millionaire friends, but us, every average man or women, trying to keep their head above water.
Marcus Aurelius January 04, 2013 at 12:39 AM
I think we need to take another look at this veteran Congressman. If he can find the courage to represent the people of this district, then maybe he ought to be retired in 2014. We need legislators who are willing to legislate, Congressman Wolf!
joe brewer January 04, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Look at the pork in Sandy Relief bill. Noway should it pass until the Alaskan fish studies and the Federal Building... are taken out. Anyone voting for this crummy relief package is enabling this god awful political stalemate we now have. Remove the pork!
kathleen fergus January 04, 2013 at 03:24 PM
I wish we could, but the people voted them into Congress


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