WASHINGTON D.C. (WTVB) - Last night on Capitol Hill, the Republican-led House approved a Senate bill which averts for now a fiscal cliff of automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts. President Obama says he’ll sign the measure that received a no vote from Seventh District Michigan G-O-P Congressman Tim Walberg, Branch County’s Representative in the House. Walberg said he was extremely disappointed that the President and Congress again put off meaningful action to reduce spending and secure the future for our children and grandchildren. Walberg added that with our economy struggling, it’s clear that an opportunity was missed to promote tax and spending policies that will grow our economy over the long term.
The Michigan delegation in the House sided with the bill by a 12-to-3 count with Democrats in favor 7-to-0 and Republicans by a 5-to-3 margin. Justin Amash and Bill Huizenga were the other Republicans from the state who voted no along with Walberg. The compromise means 2-million Americans receiving unemployment won’t be cut off and singles who make 400-thousand or more and couples who make 450-thousand or more will be paying higher taxes.
Congressman Fred Upton of St. Joseph was one of 85-Republicans to vote for the bill, saying he “couldn’t sit idly by” and let tax rates go up on most Southwest Michigan Residents. He says the real work of cutting the budget is still ahead. Upton sat on the so-called Super-committee. The creation of the Cliff was the result of their failure to find a deal on cuts. The compromise got quite a bit more support from the Michigan delegation than from other states because Michigan may have more at stake. The state is still healing from the Great Recession and some 93-thousand residents still depend on unemployment insurance to put food on the table. It may take care of the tax side of the issue, but the tougher issue of cuts is another cliff that is looming out there, and the country may still go over if another deal can’t be struck by the end of February.