Fiscal cliff deal passes House; Ga. GOP’ers vote no

Crisis averted. Let the countdown to the next crisis begin.

After a day of remarkable swings, House Republican leaders folded and brought to the floor a bill they knew they needed Democrats to pass. The final tally was 257-167, with 172 Democrats joining 85 Republicans in favor. This broke House Speaker John Boehner’s practice (named for ex-Speaker Denny Hastert) that bills must pass with “the majority of the majority.” It will be interesting to see whether conservative members’ ire remains focused on the Senate or whether it will shift to Boehner with the Speaker’s re-election coming up on Thursday.

Georgia Republicans lined up unanimously against the American Taxpayer Relief Act: Reps. Tom Price of Roswell, Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Paul Broun of Athens, Austin Scott of Tifton and Tom Graves of Ranger all voted no.

That’s a major break from the state’s Republican senators — Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss supported the 89-8 Rockin’ New Year’s vote in the Senate. It was a sign they surely noticed.

On the Democratic side, Rep. John Barrow of Augusta voted no, while Reps. David Scott of Atlanta, Hank Johnson of DeKalb County and Sanford Bishop of Albany all voted yes. (Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta is home after the death of his wife.)

Here’s what some of our folks had to say:

Austin Scott: “It’s the spending aspect of the bill that’s the problem for me. … [But] there’s some concern that if you send it back to [the Senate] with an amendment, that the country’s in limbo for several days.”

Johnson: “This is not a grand bargain by any stretch of the imagination and I think most of us will want to do everything in a grand bargain, vote it up or down, so from that standpoint it’s a little disappointing. … [But] the vice president did a good job negotiating this deal. It may be the best that we can expect.”

Broun: “I [told leadership] I’m going to vote no either way. It’s not in the best interest of this nation to continue spending money like we’re doing. It’s not about taxes because we’re taxed enough already.”

Kingston, sarcastically, when asked if he would support the deal: “I don’t know. I love senators so much that it’s hard to vote no on anything they do.”

Barrow (paper statement): “When we began discussions on getting our nation’s finances in order, our mission was to go big – reform our tax code, cut spending, and put us on a long-term path to deficit reduction.  The package we’re voting on today doesn’t achieve any of these goals. I can’t support a plan that does nothing to address our debt, doesn’t make the necessary cuts in federal spending we need right now, and sets us up for another fiscal cliff in just a couple of months.  I’m glad negotiators answered our call to block a pay increase for members of Congress, but it’s not nearly enough to put this country on the right path.  This proposal isn’t a long-term solution — it just kicks the can two months down the road.”

Chambliss: “I would hope that’s what passes so it can be done and we’ve got the tax issue behind us. There’s no other way to look at it other than this is what Obama wanted. And now we get serious about spending and entitlement reform because that’s what we want and it’s our turn.”

A spokeswoman for Gingrey: “Rep. Gingrey opposed the Senate amendment because it did not address spending, entitlement or tax reform in any meaningful way. Furthermore, it continues Washington’s habit of kicking the can down the road, fails to provide certainty for job creators or protection for small businesses.”

- By Daniel Malloy, Political Insider

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89 comments Add your comment

Brenda Lee

January 1st, 2013
11:33 pm

Where did you get this information?

FBYJ

January 1st, 2013
11:46 pm

I believe Mr. Chambliss has spent too much time in Washington and has forgotten why his constituents sent him there. If he seriously thinks that the POTUS is going to negotiate in good faith because “it’s our turn”, then he’s a bigger fool than I would have imagined.

Diane

January 1st, 2013
11:50 pm

Chambliss is a fool. No, that’s not what Obama wanted. That’s what he compromised for. Which is what Chambliss will have to do again the next time.

happy 2013 ... I think

January 1st, 2013
11:55 pm

“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” -Mark Twain (1866)

And just so there is no confusion, the above quote applies to both parties and all three bodies of our government in 1866 or 2013.

Puppet Please

January 1st, 2013
11:56 pm

Hysterical. These mad fools are driving all of us off the cliff and soon the people who need the most will have NOTHING because of the selfishness of the last 3 genearations who want to rob our children and grand children of the last best hope for humanity. WE CAN NOT SUSTAIN THIS RATE OF SPENDING!!! I hope you all realize that when we go down, so does the world. The rich will always survive and anybody who thinks “they are paying their fair share”, doesn’t realize YOU are the ones putting the money in their pockets. The only ones who will be “paying more” are everybody else. But hey, Obama said its all about fairness. I wonder how much he and the rest of the thieves in Washington are sacrificing. Not much from what I can see.

early to bed

January 1st, 2013
11:57 pm

Georgian reps all vote no- can you believe it? Every one of them is so beholden to the NRA and the tea party fanatics- they would never in a million years not vote to save their plush seat in DC- that is what is most important to them

Mikey D.

January 2nd, 2013
12:00 am

Never ceases to amaze me that some folks are too idiotic to realize that compromise is what the 2-party system of government was designed to utilize. Gridlock accomplishes absolutely nothing, and yet there’s the lunatic fringe of both parties bemoaning bipartisanship and compromise. All these morons we send to Washington should have been voted out years ago (The Earth is 6,000 years old??) but as long as the electorate continues to act like morons, we’ll keep on sending them back to continue screwing up. Unbelievable.

Gary Cochran

January 2nd, 2013
12:01 am

The State of Georgia needs 2 new Senators. Both have lost touch with the people of Georgia. There was no compromise for the Republicans, only agreement to what Obama wanted. The Senators have to go!!

ABermudaAmerican

January 2nd, 2013
12:07 am

Chambliss and Isakson, shame on you! What happened to standing on principle? I won’t forget this when you both are up for re-election.

Puppet Please

January 2nd, 2013
12:12 am

Every state needs new Senators and new congressmen. These people are only concerned with lining their pockets at the expense of the taxpayer. The Federal budget is over TWICE what it was only ten years ago!! WHAT ARE THEY SPENDING THE MONEY ON??? YOU?? YOUR CHILDREN??? NO, they are giving big money contracts to companies and unions that buy their influence. I have a child with autism, do you think the government has helped assist me in educating him? Have they made the insurance companies, THAT I PAY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO EACH YEAR, pay for any of his therapy? NO, they haven’t….it isn’t profitable. I’m all for folks making a profit but if I pay for a service I expect to get that service, not for them to pick and choose what they want to cover.
Being a Senator or Representative used to be a public service….now people get into government to get filthy rich at our expense. The day of reckoning is coming…..and I’ll be waiting….for alll of them.

Lord help

January 2nd, 2013
12:14 am

Congress approval rate 17%….most of them to old to get it up and the women to old to care. The Pres is a joke. US is already over the cliff.

Lord help

January 2nd, 2013
12:25 am

early to bed..The NRA had nothing to do with it. The Tea party only wishes to protect your Constitutional rights but you to dumb to realize it. Go get your food stamps..

Voter

January 2nd, 2013
12:36 am

Fire the ones who voted yay. Good job for GA. except Chambliss and Isakson. Shame on them.

Blind leading the Blind

January 2nd, 2013
12:54 am

I read the comments on here and you all are no better than the politicians in Washington. If it wasn’t for the President we would be in worse shape than we are now. He is the only one trying to have your backs, but you all hold so much hatred for him that you would cut off your nose to spite your face. All this debt was here before he got in office and then these 2 meaningless wars we got involved in…that where lot’s of your taxes went to. Well I could go on and on but it not worth my time because it’s like talking to a brick wall.

tjatl

January 2nd, 2013
1:03 am

Enough with the fake outrage from these Representatives!
The House had TWO years to come up with something better. They did nothing except posture in the service of their “mission” to make Obama a one-term president. They banked on a different election outcome.
Do not lionize these fools. THEY are the ones who did not do the job they were sent to Washington to do. This is what we get when our “leaders” calculate their every move based on the next election instead of the realities facing the country.

Big Hat

January 2nd, 2013
1:11 am

Never underestimate Republicans desire and ability to commit murder / suicide, just because they can.

ChristianPride

January 2nd, 2013
1:17 am

@Blind leading the Blind:
Your name is very ironic, considering under President Bush, we added 4.9 Trillion in debt, and under Obama in 3.5 years – less than 1 term – we added 5.3 Trillion. If Obama continues at this pace, he will DOUBLE the amount of debt added by all of the past presidents – COMBINED. Yeah, think that one through. Know some facts before you come here blindly commenting… just saying.

ChristianPride

January 2nd, 2013
1:18 am

@Big Hat:
Never underestimate Liberals’ desire and ability to pester/annoy people, just because they can.

Voter

January 2nd, 2013
1:20 am

@Blind leading the Blind – If it wasn’t for the President we would be in worse shape than we are now. He is the only one trying to have your backs, but you all hold so much hatred for him that you would cut off your nose to spite your face. All this debt was here before he got in office and then these 2 meaningless wars we got involved in…

Are you for real? hussein came in with 10 trillion in debt, we are at 16+ trillion. Exactly what do you consider worse shape? They have no budget, annual 1+ trillion deficits and now they vote in a bill with pressure from the White House that adds more spending and very little cuts! You need to wake up!

BehindEnemyLines

January 2nd, 2013
1:54 am

Time for Sellout Sax to go, and take Johnny with him.

Blind leading the Blind

January 2nd, 2013
2:16 am

@christianpride and @ voter I have done my research….don’t believe everything you read. This country was about to go over the cliff when the President took over …where have you been ? Living under a rock and drinking the Koolaid from the Republicans?? Like I said this could go on and on. Just sit back and watch the President straighten this country out …then talk with me in 4 years …that my last comment.

rawmilkdrinker

January 2nd, 2013
5:01 am

Look out Folks! The Georgia Legislature convenes next week and we all will be screwed morning, noon, and night.

bug

January 2nd, 2013
5:22 am

Georgian’s needs to give Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss both a pink slip.

bug

January 2nd, 2013
5:34 am

“Blind leading the Blind”, your post leads me to think when brains were passed you thought they said “rain” and ran away and did not get any.

Voter

January 2nd, 2013
6:07 am

@Blind leading the Blind – Over a cliff? You need to take your head out of the sand. This president has passed no legislation that has helped America. We are more in debt today than 4 years ago. ObamaCare will show you more taxes. Wait and see. Your family probably liked King George also, I take it.

lorri

January 2nd, 2013
6:20 am

did any one see the movie ” dave” ? he balanced the budget by cutting off countrys that we are supporting. if we have to pay to have ” friendly nations” they are not our friends. one can ” buy ” a friend at the bar for a bottle of beer.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 2nd, 2013
6:21 am

Boehner’s got to go. Now.

jimb

January 2nd, 2013
6:25 am

another vote from out-of-touch paul broun. why people keep electing him is beyond me.

WS

January 2nd, 2013
6:37 am

I will pull the lever against anyone that voted yes too this bill. Senetors need to go. We need too stop voting for a party and vote for man or woman running. Ask question, will they represent people for best interest of our country or their interest. America better wake up are will be a Third rate country control by a Castrol like leader. I can not believe how stupid about 48 per cent of this country is. They are like alot of our elected officials, what will they give me.

Weetamoe

January 2nd, 2013
6:47 am

President Shifty Shiftless–not good at much, but masterful at creating and manipulating a crisis.

RGB

January 2nd, 2013
6:56 am

The spending will continue until the deficit improves.

hiram

January 2nd, 2013
7:02 am

It’s pro wrassling. When the voters began electing politicians as overtly stupid as Paul Broun, it signaled the beginning of the end. The founding fathers excluded ignorant voters from the process for good reason.

Capitol Idea

January 2nd, 2013
7:04 am

Every one of those soulless Republicans would have voted yes to give more tax cuts to just the top one percent.

Don Abernethy

January 2nd, 2013
7:06 am

There will be a lot of voters including me that will not vote for the senators who are currently in office.

Cherokee

January 2nd, 2013
7:07 am

“I can not believe how stupid about 48 per cent of this country is.”

Then, there’s “Senetors”, “too” stop voting, “are” will be, “Castrol” like leader.

I would be a little more humble, I think, before I called other people stupid…

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 2nd, 2013
7:10 am

Well, they got the “rich.”

So who will the democrats demonize next? Which innocent target will their mindless babbling mob of non contributors set out against?

Off to the Bastille, morons.

hiram

January 2nd, 2013
7:18 am

If Rush told his faithful followers that the sun came up in the West this morning, they would throw away their compasses. People who are so ignorant, they can’t decipher simple information on their own, should not be allowed to particpate in decisions that effect other people.

Buffaloerik

January 2nd, 2013
7:20 am

I highly encourage every single person on this thread to follow through with getting rid of the good ole’ boys Saxby and Johnny…..us Democrats will help you, just let us know how we can assist….
And on a side note, quit whinning, you lost the election(s) – you don’t get to decide how things go until you win an election…..and I’m not talking about silly mid-term elections where you stuff the House full of 1 term Tea Party crackpots…you now hold 1 house because of gerrymandering, find real power or fall in line with the rest of the responsible citizens of America…….

clem

January 2nd, 2013
7:23 am

you can blame tp party for the rout; boehner should have taken deal last year.

CA

January 2nd, 2013
7:37 am

At least we have two Senators who know how to do what’s right. I am a Democrat (making six-seven figures, depending on the year) who truly is okay with higher taxes. The bill is needed, right now. Our United States Senators did what they know is right. The Unites States Representatives, who for political purpose, chose to lean toward politics, and not the people of our state. Our Senators had integrity to do what is right for the people. I am a Democrat, who typically follows party lines. That, ver seriously, might change. Thank you Senators Isakson and Chambliss.

hiram

January 2nd, 2013
7:42 am

@buffalo
Since they are elected at large, thanks to Georgia’s changing demographics, Republican Senators, and soon Governors, are history anyway. The House is a different story. People living in the outback, don’t get a lot of exposure to the world.

Buckhead Boy

January 2nd, 2013
7:47 am

For those of you who express such concern about the public debt, and disparage the passage of this bill, here is where you can send a gift equivalent to the amount by which your income tax has been limited by the bill, which gift will be applied in its entirety to the public debt:

Attn Dept G
Bureau of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

Oh, and don’t forget the amount by which your milk purchases have been limited.

Just Nasty & Mean

January 2nd, 2013
7:57 am

Really? This fiscal disaster is the Tea Party’s fault? REALLY?? The Tea Party has been the only voice of sanity in this insane spendthrift binge with no end in sight.

Name one—JUST ONE–spending bill the democRats and Obama voted against? Just ONE over the 6 years (they one the Congress in 2006) they were in power?

This spending and redistribution, all the while growing government to unsustainable levels, is on the backs of the Socialist Progressive democRats and Marxist Obama.

You cannot prove me wrong, because FACTS are stubborn things.

woody

January 2nd, 2013
7:58 am

I’m worried enough about the national debt that I would have supported letting the fiscal cliff ‘happen’. It originally included drastic cuts to the Pentagon. However, a measure was passed that excluded the military from cliff cuts. So, what would be the point in drastically cutting other areas? We’ve got to get ourselves out of waging war as an economic practice, somehow. Yes, I’m a veteran, but we do not need to keep paying for B2 bombers when our biggest security problem is roving gangs of thugs.

clem

January 2nd, 2013
8:14 am

there was a better deal last year ( i think august 201) and the tpers gummed that one up. that also is fact.

Middle of the Road

January 2nd, 2013
8:17 am

Do we need spending cuts? Of Course we do. But where? Social Security needs small adjustments to make it solvent for the long term – it has its own revenue stream and its own trust fund and should have its own budget.

Medicare is in dire straits and needs major revamping – but it also has its own revenue stream and should have its own budget – which should be balanced. Idiots who push through an unfunded Medicare Pard D have contributed greatly to its problems. Either cut the services drastically (and thereby anger all the seniors) or increse Medicare taxes to fund what the American people want.

When you take these two programs out, what are left? Interest is 18% – that is not reduceable unless you want to default on our debt. The biggest costs are defense spending including the Department of Homeland security and military perqs and pensions – 40% of the total. So why have we not heard one word about cutting defense? Medicaid is 12% of the budget and should obviously be an area where hard choices need to be made. (BTW, 25% of Medicaid goes to pay for nursing home care for the elderly). IF you cut EVERY SINGLE FEDERAL SPENDING except defense, SS, and Medicare, it would STILL not balance the budget (and that includes running the government, and federal prisons). So do we want to CUT or do we want to TAX more? If you want something, you have to PAY for it. We want Homeland Security, right, after 9-11? So where are the new taxes to pay for it?

curious

January 2nd, 2013
8:18 am

Republicans have managed to shoot themselves in the foot, again.

A philosophy of no compromise is that of a two bit dictator. It won’t endure.

WAW

January 2nd, 2013
8:20 am

Went to see “Lincoln” this weekend and couldn’t help but think that things hasn’t changed much in 150 years. Georgia’s Representatives are still sitting on the river boat.

honested

January 2nd, 2013
8:20 am

The first vote of the year at least proves one thing…….

Georgia Congressional republicans still don’t have a clue!

honested

January 2nd, 2013
8:23 am

Middle of the Road,

Very well stated!
I guess the saddest part is we could easily do without at least 40% of military spending……but that interferes with campaign contributions.