As the Senate voted 89-8 for a deal Monday night to avert the nation’s so-called "fiscal cliff,” members of the House of Representatives waited for a chance to vote on the bipartisan-brokered deal Tuesday as Republican leadership resisted the proposal by demanding more spending cuts.
But even after the House votes on the current fiscal cliff deal, there are still "three so-called fiscal cliffs looming,” U.S. Rep Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, told the Daily Journal yesterday.
"We can’t keep lurching from one crisis to another and it’s being set up that way,” Speier said.
The problem, she said, is that Congress is deeply divided.
"We’ve got to find a way to work together,” she said about Republicans and Democrats.
Set up as a crisis of incredible magnitude that could negatively impact Wall Street and world markets while increasing taxes on nearly all Americans, the Senate deal reached on New Year’s Eve pushed back across-the-board spending cuts by two months which will lead to another round of negotiations with the White House and Republicans on government benefit programs such as Medicare.
While Speier and U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, were both ready to vote in favor of the deal in the House early in the morning, they both had to wait for hours and hours and hours yesterday as Republicans decried the lack of spending cuts in the Senate deal reached by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., late Monday night.
Both Speier and Eshoo said the deal was not perfect for all, however, but they did say the Senate-brokered deal will be good for their respective districts as unemployment benefits will be extended for another year and tax credits will be extended for child care, tuition and companies that do research and development.
Income taxes will rise for individuals who make $400,000 a year and couples who make $450,000 a year, the first time in 20 years the tax will rise. President Barack Obama was seeking a $250,000 threshold for the tax hike.
The deal guarantees, however, that 98 percent of Americans will not see their taxes increase permanently, Eshoo wrote in a statement yesterday as she urged a quick vote on the deal.
"While the legislation is not a ‘grand bargain’ and leaves critical issues to be dealt with in the near future, I will vote for it precisely because it is a bipartisan compromise. I urge the speaker to bring the Senate-passed bill to the floor of the House immediately for an up-down vote,” Eshoo wrote in the statement. "The American people have been dragged through enough and our fragile economy cannot sustain congressional failure to act. A great country does not jump off a fiscal cliff.”
Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.