Area congressmen defend votes on Fiscal Cliff

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Updated: 1/03/2013 1:03 am
The bill that backs the United States away from the Fiscal Cliff met with differing opinions when it came time for Congressmen Randy Neugebauer, Mac Thornberry, and Mike Conaway to cast their votes.

They did not all vote the same way, but each stood strongly behind his position.

Congressman Mac Thornberry, (R-Clarendon), voted for the bill. He issued this statement explaining his vote:

"Making the current tax rates permanent for the vast majority of Americans, as this bill does, is a major accomplishment.  I continue to hear from many people in our part of Texas that stability in the tax code is necessary for their families and their businesses.

Other provisions contained in this bill are important to the people in our district as well,  including an answer on the death tax and a short-term extension of the current farm bill.  It also prevents a 27% cut in Medicare reimbursement to doctors, which would have made it very difficult for Medicare patients to find a physician to treat them.

This bill is a missed opportunity to take meaningful action to deal with our very serious spending problem, and I supported efforts to have significant cuts included in this measure.    I also believe that some parts of the bill discourage work and encourage dependency on the government.  But tonight is not our last opportunity to fight for reforms and significant cuts.

I am a conservative and a realist.  We do not have to do all of these things in one bill – and it would be a mistake to try – but we must do them for the sake of our country and our future."

Congressman Mike Conaway, (R-Midland), voted against the bill and issued this statement:

“While I am relieved that taxes will not be raised on 98 percent of Americans and that the farm bill will be extended for another year, this bill had serious flaws. This legislation included extraneous, unnecessary tax extenders that were not relevant to resolving the fiscal cliff and should not have been included.

“In addition, the two-month sequester postponement was merely a fig leaf. The House had a separate bill that would have postponed the sequester for one year while implementing meaningful additional spending reductions, which would have gone a long way to helping cure our nation’s spending woes.

“For these reasons, I voted no on this bill. Washington’s out-of-control spending remains our country’s greatest problem, and this bill did not address that crisis. I look forward to working with my House colleagues on legislation to put our nation back on a sound fiscal path.”


Congressman Randy Neugebauer, (R-Lubbock), voted against the bill. An interview with Neugebauer regarding his vote can be seen by clicking the video that accompanies this story.

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