Obama praises House’s approval on the fiscal cliff deal
The Senate’s proposed ‘fiscal cliff’ deal won approval of majority of the Congress late Tuesday evening and the bill is now ready to be signed into law by the President.
The belated compromise on tax hikes passed the Congress with 257 to157 vote despite objections of several conservative Republicans. The measure is a step taken towards the next fiscal cliff confrontation, the spending cuts, which will be due in a matter of weeks.
Out of the 275 votes, only 85 votes came from the Republicans at the House, making the final deal a mere Democratic victory and the result of a compromise by a few Republicans. The rest of the GOP lawmakers voted against the legislation. Republican House Speaker, John BoehnerJohn Boehner, who once fervently opposed higher taxes on the rich, surprisingly voted in favor of the law along with House Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan. However, Republican House Majority Leader, Eric CantorEric Cantor along with Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy and several others voted against the bill.
Speaking at the White House, minutes after the final vote came in, President Obama praised the lawmakers for joining hands with the Democrats in their efforts to avert the cliff and save the nation.
“A central premise of my campaign for president was the change the tax code that was too skewed toward the wealthy at the expense of working, middle-class Americans. Tonight, we’ve done that,” the President said.
But he pointed out that the legislation was “just one step in the broader effort” of getting the nation’s finances back on track while boosting growth and job creation.
“The deficit is still too high,” he said, warning Republicans that there might be more compromises ahead for them referring to his insistence on a “balanced” approach blending spending cuts with revenue increases, notably from the rich and wealthy corporations.
House Speaker, Boehner, noted that now that the issue of tax hikes has been resolved, the focus must shift to spending. He vowed that his party would “hold the President accountable for the balanced approach he promised, meaning significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt.”
The first half of this new year will feature brawls between Democrats and Republicans over raising the debt limit, continuing basic government funding and the expiration of the sequester. Highlighting these upcoming fights, Obama said Tuesday evening that while he’s ready for negotiations with the GOP leaders, he will not have another debate over whether to pay the bills the Congress has racked up.