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Hultgren Defends Vote Against Fiscal Cliff Measure

The bill clears Congress, and heads off crisis with expiration of Bush, Obama tax cuts, plus new taxes.

Congressional action late Tuesday night ended months of the nation teetering on the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff, also known as a significant tax increase set to begin Jan. 1 with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and temporary tax cuts put through by President Barack Obama, as well as new taxes and automatic spending cuts.

Many feared that had Congress failed to address the issue, the tax increases and automatic spending cuts would have pushed the nation once again headlong into recession. Politico reported that the bipartisan solution was approved in a 257-167 vote by the U.S. House. Among those voting against the measure was Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-14th District.

“The lack of spending cuts in this package is indefensible, which is why I voted against it,” Hultgren said in a release issued late Tuesday. “Washington, D.C. has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. This package fails to address that. In fact, it makes the $16 trillion debt and trillion-dollar deficit even worse.”

The measure “addresses several significant issues, including tax rates for families. It repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act. It includes an extension of parity for employer-provided transit benefits, which is something I’ve fought for repeatedly,” he said in the release. “Most importantly, it makes current tax rates permanent for individuals earning less than $400,000 and families earning less than $450,000. That must happen, but not in the absence of any effort to rein in spending.”

In October, Hultgren warned that inaction by lawmakers would set the stage for the largest tax increase in the nation’s history.

“I’ve already voted against raising taxes on all Americans, and I cannot support an irresponsible bill which doesn’t begin to address the problem that got us into this mess in the first place,” Hultgren said about the bill approved Tuesday.

Related Story: Hultgren: Brace Yourself for Major Tax Bite in 2013

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