To the extent that anyone is inclined to congratulate the Congress for voting at the 13th hour to avert the “fiscal cliff,” they should carefully avoid directing any positive vibes at the SC delegation.
They were predictably petulant, recalcitrant and useless. Far be it from them to be part of anything that might be construed by anyone as getting anything done.
As you can see on this nifty interactive map provided by The New York Times, Joe Wilson and the Four Freshmen all voted “nay.” One would be tempted to pat Jim Clyburn on the back for being the grownup in the room, but the fact is that he is as wedded to his own rigid partisan attitudes as they are to theirs, so his vote was just as predictable.
But at least he voted to do something.
Here, by the way, is what Clyburn had to say about the vote last night:
Mr. Speaker, it is tempting to say it’s about time the House put aside extreme partisanship and work together on compromise to address the nation’s most pressing issues. But in reality, it is far past time that we put aside its extreme partisanship. Throughout the entirety of the 112th Congress, the Republican Leadership repeatedly put its own narrow political interests ahead of the public interest.
So here we are on New Year’s night, with the clock running out on the very existence of this Congress, finally considering bipartisan legislation to provide middle class tax cuts, require the wealthiest to once again pay their fair share so we can grow the economy, create jobs and protect the most vulnerable in our society. It is indeed well past time we got about the people’s business.
Mr. Speaker, in 2011, I served on the Biden group of both Republican and Democratic Representatives and Senators who worked with the Vice President on our nation’s fiscal issues. We made good progress in those talks until our Republican friends walked away, fearing the wrath of the Tea Party Caucus here in the House.
I also served on the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the so-called supercommittee that spent countless hours discussing these issues in detail. It was very clear that the elements of a fair and balanced fiscal plan were achievable. But at the end of the process, the Republican leaders refused to compromise and the supercommittee failed.
So here we are. While this bill is not perfect, and I have serious concerns about some of the cuts it contains, it does contain the element of fairness. This bill protects the middle class and working people with a more progressive tax code than we’ve had in a very long time. And this bill prevents the meat axe approach of budget cuts that could do severe damage to our national defense and important domestic priorities.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that the partisanship of the 112th Congress will end this week with the end of the 112th Congress. And I am hopeful that the 113th Congress can work together toward honorable compromises that get the people’s business done. I urge a Yes vote.
I have not yet received any releases on the subject from the GOP members.