Democrat Steve Cohen of Memphis was the only member of the Tennessee delegation to the U.S. House who voted in favor of the “fiscal cliff” legislation that was approved by a 257-167 bipartisan vote on New Year’s day.
Here’s how the Tennessee delegation voted:
Voting no in the House were Republicans Phil Roe, John Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais. Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, and Stephen Fincher. Democrat Jim Cooper also voted against the measure.
Democrat Steve Cohen was the only yes vote among the Tennessee delegation in the House.
In the early morning vote in the Senate, Sens Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both Republicans, voted in favor of the bill.
==Here are news releases from Tennessee congressmen on their vote: (Alexander and Corker statements are on an earlier post, HERE.)
From Rep. Jim Cooper:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) issued the following statement today after voting against H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which adds nearly $4 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years:
“No real spending cuts. No real deficit reduction. No acknowledgement of America’s out-of-control national debt. This is a popular vote today, but it will harm America in the long run. It is good to see a return to bipartisanship, but not when it makes our fiscal problems worse.
“Congress is missing the chance of the decade to adopt a large, balanced deficit reduction plan such as Simpson-Bowles that combines tax relief with controlling federal spending.
“In just a few weeks, America will face another debt-ceiling crisis as well as sequestration. Today’s fiscal Band-Aid may feel good now, but its relief will not even last until spring.”
Cooper has long favored a balanced, bipartisan approach to tackling the national debt and fiscal cliff. He and U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) introduced the only bipartisan budget last spring, based on recommendations from the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission.
The Cooper-LaTourette budget was the only budget plan to receive bipartisan support in the House last year, and was widely praised by editorial boards across the country. Cooper and LaTourette were honored by the Concord Coalition in September 2012 for their political leadership and work to reduce the debt.
From Chuck Fleischmann:
WASHINGTON− Congressman Chuck Fleischmann issued the following statement tonight after the passage of H.R. 8.
“Months ago, the House passed bills that extended tax cuts for all Americans and responsibly dealt with sequestration. Unfortunately the Senate waited until the final days of the year to look at any solutions. What they produced does nothing more than kick the can down the road on the most serious issue facing our nation.
“As I have long said, we have a spending problem not a revenue problem. The bill sent back to the House not only allowed taxes to increase but increased spending by $330 billion. It was simply something I could not support.”
From Marsha Blackburn:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) issued the following statement on her vote in opposition to the so-called deal to avert the fiscal cliff by imposing devastating tax increases without including any meaningful spending reductions to address our nation’s debt crisis.
“Speaker Boehner and our leadership deserve a tremendous amount of credit for what they have done in our efforts to solve the problem and avert the fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have shown no willingness to address the real root of the problem – Washington’s out-of-control spending.
“House Republicans passed a number of bills with bipartisan support prior to the election last year to deal with the tax extenders, put in place a plan for tax reform, and prevent the devastating defense cuts that will come as a result of sequestration. If the President and Senate Democrats were truly serious about solving our nation’s fiscal problems, they should have stayed in DC and off the campaign trail until they were able to get something done.
“It is disrespectful to the American people for Majority Leader Reid to wait until the last minute to pass a bill at 2am on New Year’s Day. Leaders make choices. Their choice was inaction and the consequence has been a classic tax and spend DC drama.
“This bill only makes the situation worse. It imposes job-killing tax hikes, does nothing to restrain spending, adds to our annual deficit, and increases our debt by nearly $4 trillion over the next decade.
“The problem in Washington is not that we tax too little, it’s that we spend too much. That is why I recently supported the Spending Reduction Act, which passed the House before the holidays and would put in place mandatory spending reductions. It is what my constituents expect to see. They are demanding fiscal restraint.
“We can’t continue to give the President money we don’t have to spend on programs the American people don’t want. For the future of our children and grandchildren, we have to exercise fiscal restraint.”