Rep. Barletta's statement about the 'fiscal cliff' bill vote

Jan 1, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, released the following statement after tonight’s vote to turn back from the fiscal cliff:

“Tonight, I voted for the largest tax cut in American history.

“As we approached the fiscal cliff, I said my goal was to get the lowest taxes possible for as many of my constituents as possible, and this bill does that. This bill cuts taxes for 99 percent of Americans, and it makes those lower taxes permanent, which means nearly all of my constituents will keep more money in their pockets. We desperately need to address our spending problem, but we needed to make sure to provide stability and certainty by stepping back from the fiscal cliff, and this bill does that.

“We could not afford to see taxes go up between $2,000 and $3,000 per person because that would cripple our economy.

“This bill, while not perfect, does many good things for a lot of people. In addition to providing permanent tax relief for 99 percent of American taxpayers, it makes permanent 90 percent of the tax policies enacted in President Bush's term a decade ago, including the capital gains and dividends tax rates for middle-class families. It permanently alters the estate tax, the so-called ‘death tax,’ so family farms and small businesses aren't crippled after the passing of a loved one.

“This bill extends for five years other important tax credits, like the earned income tax credit and other tax credits used to pay for college. It permanently fixes the Alternative Minimum Tax, which affects millions of Americans. It avoids a 27-percent cut in reimbursement to doctors who see Medicare patients (the "doc fix"). It extends research and experimentation tax credits for businesses.

“This bill also avoids the so-called ‘milk cliff’ by extending the farm bill through the end of the fiscal year, preventing a dramatic spike in the cost of milk.

“It postpones devastating defense sequestration for two months.

“While I'm disappointed this bill does not include spending cuts, this is a tax bill, not a spending bill, so I will fight to cut ridiculous government overspending during the upcoming debate on raising the debt limit. At some point, we need to address the root of our problem – the reckless spending. It's time that we take back the credit card from the politicians in Washington. Lowering the tax rates and fixing them permanently is the first step in bringing our country back to fiscal sanity.”