A Republican with 2016 stars in his eyes was one of the eight “no” votes cast against the fiscal cliff deal in the Senate early this morning.
“I appreciate all the hard work that went into avoiding the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’. I especially commend Senator McConnell’s efforts to make the best out of a bad situation. Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing. But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement a short time ago.
“Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control,” he continued.
“Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won’t go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades. Furthermore, this deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can’t find the work they need.”
Rubio was one of the last senators to cast his vote.
The other “no” votes were from Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
“I do not support this agreement. Our economy needs spending restraint by the federal government and fundamental tax reform that eliminates corporate welfare and lowers individuals’ rates,” Shelby said in a statement. “Instead, this package raises taxes, increases spending, and will lead to more borrowing. This deal is certainly no cure-all; rather, it falls far short of the measures necessary to promote job creation, economic growth, and fiscal stability.”
Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) did not vote. Kirk is supposed to return to the upper chamber for the beginning of the 113th Congress on Thursday, for the first time since suffering a stroke a year ago.