U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., issued the following statement concerning the passage of a bill that would avert the fiscal cliff and provide certainty for taxpayers with respect to the estate tax and individual income tax rates. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 89-8. The House passed the measure by a vote of 257-167.
"While the deal put together to avert the fiscal cliff has shortcomings, it will lock in the same tax rate most taxpayers have been paying which provides stability," said Enzi. "Providing confidence to families, small businesses and investors is an important step in getting our fiscal house in order, but there is much more that must be done. The backroom deals that have been going on for months have limited the input from more than 500 other legislators and the American public. If more elected representatives had input instead of only a select few behind closed doors, we'd see a lot more progress a lot sooner. That means using the committee process and allowing an open and transparent amendment process. That means taking votes, even the tough ones. We've moved away from legislating. We've turned to groups, "gangs', and commissions, sometimes just two leaders behind closed doors making the decisions for everyone else. Every member was elected to represent the voices of their constituents and they should have a say in this process, not just a select few.
"Higher taxes aren't the magic wand that will make our $1 trillion deficits and $16 trillion national debt disappear. Especially when it's only going to pay for more spending. The only way we will be able to tackle this problem that threatens every aspect of our country and our lives, is to get serious about cutting spending. Once we quit spending more money than we take in, we have to start paying off our debts. No one wants to hear that we are going to have to do more with less, and that their favorite program will probably have a cut. But that's the world we live in. Every day we wait, every chance we ignore, leaves us with less options for leaving future generations with the same quality of life we have."