Update on Fiscal Cliff
E-NEWSLETTER ~ December 21, 2012
As we approach the year-end holidays, the conservative House majority has now achieved the height of irresponsibility as the nation reaches the edge of the so called “fiscal cliff”-- the term coined by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to describe the double whammy of hundreds of billions in budget cuts to defense and domestic spending and the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts scheduled to begin simultaneously on January 1, 2013.
As I write, it is the day after the House failed to approve-- failed to even vote on-- what Speaker John Boehner called his “Plan B”: an extension of the tax cuts on the first $1 million of income, far above the President’s preferred threshold of $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. The House majority did pass H.R. 6844-- the Spending Reduction Act of 2012, which stops automatic cuts for defense programs but allows draconian cuts to important domestic investments like education and healthcare.
In so doing, the Speaker and his caucus revealed their true colors—they are willing to go to bat for defense contractors but not for the middle class and those who need it most.
This morning, the Speaker simply shirked all responsibility, saying it’s now up to President Obama and the Senate to solve the fiscal cliff problem.
It’s preposterous. Any fifth-grader knows how a bill becomes a law-- the Senate and the House must pass identical legislation and the President signs the bill into law. That means all branches of government need to work together.
I wish the news from Washington was better. However, there is still an opportunity for the Speaker of the House to work with the President and the Senate on a compromise that puts country ahead of political ideology.
I do hope the holiday season is warm and enjoyable for you and those you love.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress