WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today released the following statement after voting against the Senate proposal to address the fiscal cliff:
“We have known about the looming threat of the fiscal cliff for nearly two years. Yet, during that time, the United States Senate failed to take seriously this crisis, driving us to the edge of the cliff with its 11th hour vote on Tuesday morning. We in the House of Representatives took action this summer to replace the across the board cuts with responsible spending reforms and extend the current tax rates for everyone on behalf of the people of Virginia’s 5th District and all Americans. After months of failing to act on our proposals to keep taxes low and cut spending, I am glad that the Senate has finally delivered its own proposal to avert this fiscal crisis by preventing many of the job-destroying tax hikes that were set to take effect.
“The Senate proposal provides permanent tax relief to most Americans, and I believe that is a step in the right direction toward creating certainty for our families and small business owners. The proposal also enacts permanent estate tax relief for our small businesses and family farmers who need certainty in our tax code. But at a time when we as a nation own a 16 trillion dollar debt and borrow 45 cents on every dollar we spend, this legislation does absolutely nothing to address the federal government’s spending problem – in fact it only adds to it.
“At a time when members of both parties agree that we need to cut spending, the Senate proposal makes virtually no spending cuts. At a time when we all know that our Social Security and Medicare programs are primary drivers of our spending, this legislation makes no necessary reforms. And, inexplicably, at a time when reining in reckless spending should be our primary concern, this legislation proposes billions of dollars in new spending.
“In August of 2011, President Obama negotiated and signed into law the Budget Control Act that would impose 1.2 trillion dollars in spending cuts to take effect in January of 2013 if no agreement could be made on serious deficit reduction. Now, more than a year later, no agreement has been made on deficit reduction. And now the President says we need to kick spending cuts down the road again. This “tax now, cut later” status quo in Washington simply cannot continue. We can and we must do better.
“In good conscience, and for the future of this great nation and of our children and grandchildren who will inherit this debt, I am unable to support continuing along this course. I remain deeply concerned for the future of our country as we continue on this path and I maintain my commitment to working on behalf of Virginia’s 5th District, with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to make the difficult choices necessary to restore our nation to fiscal sustainability.”