make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

House approves fiscal cliff bill

READ MORE:
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) -- After months of drama and some tense last minute negotiating, Congress finally passed legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff.

And after the vote, a rare late night statement from President Obama, he said, "this law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everybody".

Lawmakers completely blew their deadline and didn't get the grand bargain that both parties claimed was the ultimate goal. But both Democrats and Republicans gave themselves credit for getting something done. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says, "this is a very, very strong first step".

There was considerable hand wringing among Republicans about a lack of spending cuts, some wanted to add them in, but ultimately there weren't enough votes to get it passed.

The fiscal cliff deal, which passed the senate with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier Tuesday morning, would extend tax cuts for all workers earning less and $400,000 a year, prevent a tax hike on estates valued at less than $5 million and extend unemployment benefits for two million people that were set to expire today.

Since Congress missed the January first midnight deadline, technically the country did go over the fiscal cliff. But by passing the compromise deal in the House and Senate, Congress can try to take credit for retroactive tax cuts.

To avoid this fiscal cliff, Congress essentially set up new ones. In two months, they'll need to deal with the automatic spending cuts they put off and there will be a nasty fight over the debt ceiling.

* NOTE: Representatives Mike McIntyre (D) and Walter Jones (R) both voted NO on the bill.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

Death of a nation

"Lawmakers completely blew their deadline and didn't get the grand bargain ... But both Democrats and Republicans gave themselves credit for getting something done"

- And their excuse for blowing the deadline was ... Well, actually there is no excuse. Maybe they shouldn't have taken a holiday break. Lots of people don't take a holiday break because they have essential jobs to perform. I guess our congressmen didn't think their job was that essential. You know, saving our country from crises and all of that boring stuff.
- And the thing they're giving themselves credit for getting done is ... Essentially, kicking the can another twenty feet down the road instead actually getting anything really done. Reminds me of some of those extreme progressive schools of the 70's where it didn't matter if little Jonny got the answer wrong on a math quiz, it was really about how he felt about the answer.

(Excuse me while I step away from my keyboard for a moment and throw up!)

Our government is in a death spiral. We pay these people obscene amounts of money and benefits (and they control how much to give themselves) to govern our country and all they do is wait every night in the national news conga lines to spew out some sound bites. Meanwhile big business gives them billions each year in bribes for beneficial legislation and Congress writes the laws that justify that as well. Legislators get paid, big business gets paid ... We get screwed.

The ONLY way this will ever stop is if limited terms of office are instituted and the lobbying laws are drastically restructured. Only Congress is capable of making that happen but they're not going to change a damn thing because all of them like it just the way it is. They're laughing all the way to the bank on our dime ... then back to their overstaffed offices ... then back to the bank again. It's not just obscene, it's obscenely obscene!

Like I said, ""Death of a nation".

It is the Spending Stupid!!!!'

Everyone is crying about potential cuts to (earned) government benefits such as Social Security and Medicare. I, fully, believe that our country will be in the same boat as Grease if we don't (deeply) cut government spending. But, instead of cutting (earned) benefits, why not cut out the STUPID spending such as the new soccer field at Guantanamo Bay ($750,000) or helping student in Indonesia get a masters degree ($20 million) or a study to see if cocaine causes quail to engage in risky behavior ($175,000) or the BILLIONS of dollars of other WASTEFUL spending that you can find by Googling "Stupid Government Spending" or "Wasteful Government Spending".

Wilmington Observer

Glad to see

Our two local pandering politicians voted "NO" on this deal.
I would have ended ALL the Bush tax cuts then done across the board cuts that were deep enough to create a slight surplus.
This is easier - MUCH easier and allows Dept Heads to figure out how to do it - which puts the onus back on the Administration so to speak.
Now the problem becomes the debt ceiling.
It has been passed 74 times with bipartisan support.
Through Reagan, George HW Bush, Clinton, George W Bush and Obama - through Republican Congress and Democratic Congress. There is absolutely no reason to dig in your heels now - unless you believe that it somehow damages the President. This then brings up the issue of are they playing politics with it?
OF course the real issue here is politics and the bizarre way the parties have framed their arguments over the years - from claiming social security was an entitlement and added to the debt (It's not, and does not add to the debt) to we have to protect the poor (from?).
There have been some very good suggestions just on these blogs alone to help reduce spending.
The problem seems to be Washington - and BOTH parties. Both have their pet projects or pet ideologies.
The first thing Americans should do is insist upon term limits. The second thing would be to eliminate all contact between politicians and lobbyists. The last thing would be campaign finance reform so that no one group or individual could influence the elections.
None of these things will fix whats wrong but they would go a long way to help....
Vog

Correction

I would have done away with all the Bush Tax Cuts.
Good grief what big mistake that was.
I need another cup 'o Joe.........wow

Vog

Interesting

Here we are with a bill that will cost $3T over a decade according to the Congressional Budget Office. In the Senate McConnell had to reach out to Biden and the deal they reached included tax increases on the rich, tax increases on ALL Americans (payroll tax cut expiration) and spending increases on pet projects from both parties - including extending farm subsidies not just to dairy farmers but to soy and other crops as well.
So - on the Senate side the bill crafted by the GOP/DEMs included increased taxes and increased spending and all but 8 Senators approved it. The GOP dominated House passed it "as is".
So - who do we blame for this travesty?
Sure the buck stops at the presidents desk - but this was VERY different. This was a joint effort by the GOP Senate leader and the Administration and the House had a very clear and easy path to block the legislation. The earmarks added came from both parties.
The old adage of "the more things change the more they stay the same" seems to apply here.

Vog

I

LOVED that extra cash from the SS tax cut...but it NEVER needed to be cut in the first place...and I am glad its back. NOW...if ALL of that money could go into the fund...that would be great..OH..and if they could PAY BACK what they have "borrowed"...yeah...that would be great as well!

Hey Vog

it's more than interesting; it's disgusting.

I am not certain why; but I am shocked that Burr voted YES. How could he join Hagen and all of those other liberals?

Not a single significant spending cut.

They just kick it down the road for a few more months.

Now we have reached the debt ceiling. Geitner indicates he will use accounting smoke and missors to stem default on the existing debt. But that only buys about 60 days.

Perhaps we need to "Beware the Ides of March".

Pretty soon, the dollar will have less worth than the German Mark of 1932.

What gets me Tom....

Is that a fair shared solution is available but neither party "wants it".
Revenues are down as a % of GDP so they have to rise.
Debt is up as a % of GDP that has to stabilize.
Notice I said debt.......

We have to solve the immediate issue of the debt ceiling. To do this we need to get an honest accounting of what we are spending - to include the off the books costs of the wars in Iraq and Pakistan. I would raise payroll tax rates to pay for this. Payroll taxes are collected continuously - so the affect is to negate the debt ceiling issue.
No more leverage - no more fighting - the yearly budget is balanced. That now prevents adding to the long term debt
And the populace is pissed because they really see how much we've been over spending.
Then I propose across the board cuts so that the budget is imbalanced (again) but on the positive side, with all additional funds going towards debt reduction. We don't have to pay it all off within a decade so the imbalance will not need to be large.
But if revenues are at their lowest levels since the 1980s but spending is at it's highest levels ever then we have to address both sides of the equation.
Both parties brought this on themselves with their past views of spending and tax cutting - so there should be no arguments. The blame is shared equally between the parties. Cheney's view that debt is never an issue speaks volumes AGAINST the GOPs current concern and is telling in it's honesty.
Both parties have become so entangled in their fiscal outlooks its hard to see if what they propose is actually good for the country or bad.

Vog

BTW Tom

did you catch Scarborough this morning? He skewered the GOP.
The Bush tax cuts, the Bush prescription benefits and last nights vote added $11T in debt to our "account" - according to Joe.
Who voted for all 3 things?
McIntyre? No

Paul Ryan

Yep that Deficit Hawk voted for $11T in debt!!!!!!!!

Think about this.
Just a few months ago Boehnner and Obama had $1.4T in cuts on the table but the GOP couldn't deliver on the very same tax cuts they voted FOR last night.......
The GOP and TP are almost as two-faced as the liberal Democrats are and are getting the blame for the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling threats (as they should).

We are seeing the destruction of an entire political party right before our eyes..........

Vog

VOG

with your common sense approach, don't ever plan to enter politics. Common sense is not present in Washington.

I thought all of our troops were out of Iraq. I saw an article in the Washington Post, last week, which projected an estimated cost of $5 Billion to recover, prepare and ship all of the military equipment in Afghanistan to the United States. Option B is give it to the Afghans; option C is to destroy it in place.

You suggested closing all bases on Okinawa. I can buy that. To many, the Marines, which make up the majority of the troops stationed there, are still viewed as conquerors after WWII.

Then let's station troops on our borders to stem the flow of illegals, undocumenteds, and so forth from Canada and Mexico.

Immediately cut Medicaid, and all other entitlement programs, for undocumented individuals and their families.

It's gotta start somewhere.