WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre said he voted Tuesday against a Senate plan to avoid the fiscal cliff because he doesn’t think the proposal addresses the key issues, and the incoming congressman for most of Robeson County agrees, saying spending cuts are needed.
“It’s absolutely critical that a sensible resolution be reached with bi-partisan support,” McIntyre, a Democrat from Lumberton, told The Robesonian late Wednesday. “But the Senate’s proposal to do this isn’t the way.”
McIntyre, a conservative Blue Dog Democrat, was among the 167 House members who voted against the legislation supported by President Barack Obama. The legislation allows for taxes to be raised on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans while preventing tax hikes the president contends could send the economy into a recession.
According to McIntyre, the legislation falls short of its intended purpose of recharging the economy for three reasons: it adds $4 trillion to the national debt; delays spending cuts; and does not provide the comprehensive tax reform that will help the nation’s small businesses create jobs.
McIntyre called the action taken by Congress a “temporary fix” to financial woes.
“Financial markets, small businesses, and the American people are looking for stability and accountability,” he said. “I feel that a broader, stronger and more comprehensive solution is needed rather than a temporary patch … . A comprehensive solution is needed that includes getting the national debt under control and reigns in government spending.”
McIntyre, whose 7th District now includes only a sliver of Robeson County, told The Robesonian that it is the consensus of the business people he has talked with that the legislation approved Tuesday is not the best course of action to follow if jobs are to be created and the nation’s struggling economy is to grow.
“I have talked with a lot of business people and they don’t feel this is a good course of action,” he said.
Republican Richard Hudson, who today replaces Democrat Larry Kissell as the representative for District 8, which now includes most of Robeson County, also was critical of the legislation, saying it just delays dealing with the problem.
“I am deeply disappointed in the measure that passed the House last night,” Hudson said in a statement issued Wednesday. “I was hopeful that Congress could find a true solution to get our fiscal house in order, but instead they continue to kick the can down the road. The rhetoric we hear in Washington about the need to cut spending has again proven hollow and meaningless.”
Hudson pledged to begin immediately after taking office to “advance a balanced budget amendment.”
“… The fiscal cliff of 2012 is nothing compared to the damage we are doing to future generations of Americans who will be crushed by debt, paying the interest on our destructive spending policies because politicians today won’t stand up and say enough is enough,” he said.
In addition to neutralizing middle class tax increases and spending cuts taking effect with the new year, the legislation approved raises tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. The legislation also prevents an expiration of extended unemployment benefits for about 2 million jobless, stops a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients, halts a $900 pay raise for lawmakers slated to become effective in March, and stops a threatened spike in milk prices.