The final deal may not make either political party happy, but the financial conundrum the country faced passed before the Jan. 1 deadline.
While U.S. Georgia senators voted to support a resolve to the “fiscal cliff” debacle, Georgia’s U.S. House Republicans who represent North Fulton and Forsyth County voted to reject the measure.
U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss both voted in support of the 89-8 New Year’s vote to avert the financial crisis.
But Ga. House Republicans were unanimously against the American Taxpayer Relief Act that passed 257-167.
The bill aims to boosts the top 35 percent income tax rate to nearly 40 percent for incomes exceeding $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, while continuing Bush-era income tax breaks for everyone else.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the current plan includes $330.3 billion in new spending during the next ten years, and it will increase the deficit by $3.9 trillion in that time period despite raising taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households.
Republicans in District 6 U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell, District 7 U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville and District 9 U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Gainesville all voted against the bill.
“The Senate bill offers no commitment to debt reduction, only a demand from taxpayers to bailout Washington,” Graves said. “As taxes rise, freedom diminishes. Without any spending reforms, the debt crisis continues. I cannot support a bill that protects Washington and promotes bigger government at the expense of my constituents and future generations.”
Woodall said that spending is the problem in Washington.
“This bill, which chooses to spend even more rather than save even a penny less, does not meet the 'step forward' test.”
Isakson, although he voted for the bill, said the 11th-hour negotiation was no way to run a country.
“I voted for this agreement because it protects 99 percent of Americans from a tax increase,” Isakson said. “[It] permanently protects tens of thousands of farmers and family businesses from having to pay the estate tax upon the death of a loved one, and permanently fixes the alternative minimum tax to protect some 30 million households a year from having to pay it.”
Isakson said he was also pleased that the agreement reinstated the pay freeze for members of Congress.
Chambliss, who also voted to avert the “cliff,” said his vote was more of a compromise on the tax provisions.
“This deal is far from what this country needs,” Chambliss said, “but I cannot in good conscience allow taxes to be raised on all Americans and send our economy into turmoil.”