A number of Arizona political leaders are reacting to the passage of a bill Tuesday night that avoids a national "fiscal cliff" of middle class tax increases and spending cuts.
U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar:
"I kept my promise to the people of Arizona to make the right choice even when it's not the popular choice. The bill passed tonight raised taxes $41 for every $1 cut; this is not how we get our nation back on track. Those of us who voted for the Budget Control Act which allowed the debt ceiling to rise in exchange for meaningful cuts learned tonight, as President's Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush once learned, that promises for future cuts rarely if ever come. I remain committed to solving our nation's problems now, not a month from now, not a year from now but now. This "deal" does not do that and therefore I could not vote for it.
"As a healthcare provider I understand the significance of a patient acknowledging that they have a disease. It is only with this recognition that they can fully participate in their own treatment and overcome it. Our nation has developed an illness - out of control spending, borrowing and taxing. Simple economics and common sense give us the cure. However, before we can start treatment for our addiction we as a nation have to recognize that we are sick and be willing to stop. Tonight's vote is a painful reminder that many still aren't willing to see the constant decline in our nations fiscal health and wellbeing."
Rep. David Schweikert:
"Sadly, a new year brings more of the same. Only in Washington would a bill that spends more, taxes more, and creates more debt, without addressing our out-of-control spending be called a 'balanced approach.'
"Further, this is not a compromise and it certainly does nothing to address our entitlement crisis or the $16 trillion in debt that continues to grow every day. Any fix to our economic woes will be nothing more than window dressing until we address our spending problem.
"However bleak this fiscal cliff 'solution' may look, I am only more determined to continue to do what Arizonans sent me to Washington to do-fight to reduce the size and cost of government.
"Our fight is just beginning."
Rep. Ron Barber:
"We finally took the necessary step to extend tax cuts for more than 98 percent of Americans. But our job is far from over. We again have failed to substantively address our nation's growing debt and deficit.
"We owe the American people far better than this. The dangerous political maneuvers that took us over the cliff are irresponsible and I call on my colleagues to stop the political gamesmanship and come together in a bipartisan manner to finish the job."
U.S. Senator John McCain:
"Despite my disappointment with many aspects of this agreement, I cannot in good conscience stand by and watch taxes go up on all Americans. I hope that in the coming months we continue to work toward a long term solution to our fiscal problems but in an effort to address the current crisis, I support the legislation worked out by Senate leadership and commend them for their efforts.
"However, it should be embarrassing to all of us that it took until the last hours of the last day of the year to address an issue we should have dealt with months ago. This marks another sad chapter in what has been the least productive Congress since 1947. Moreover, the fact that we're again kicking the can down the road with a short-term measure rather than moving forward with the fundamental tax and entitlement reform we all know our nation needs is yet another signal of the lack of leadership at all levels in Washington today.
"Critical issues remain to be resolved, particularly the $500 billion in defense budget cuts looming over our nation's military. I hope that President Obama will make good on his pledge that defense sequestration 'will not happen,' particularly since our Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have made clear that these cuts will be 'devastating' to our armed forces and America's national security."
The bill passed on a bipartisan 257-167 vote in the House.
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