Congressman John Carney (D-DE) tonight released the following statement after voting for a proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff:
"The time has long passed to make tough decisions and address the nation's serious fiscal challenges. Over the last two years, Congress has failed to seize numerous opportunities to come up with a comprehensive agreement that reduces our deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. Today's self-imposed deadline was intended to force real action on deficit reduction. Unfortunately, Congress has once again chosen to pass a short-term deal instead of a long-term "grand bargain' that would finally put the country on a sustainable deficit reduction trajectory.
"I am frustrated by the process and disappointed by the outcome, but I also believe it is important that Congress not allow the country to go off the fiscal cliff at a time when our still-fragile economic recovery is continuing. Not approving this agreement would have resulted in serious negative consequences for the economy, possibly pushing the country back into a recession. While the agreement is not nearly as comprehensive as it should have been, it does prevent taxes from rising for 98 percent of Americans, it protects Social Security, and it sets the stage for responsible spending cuts, among other important provisions. As we debate budget priorities in the coming months, I will continue to be a strong advocate for a balanced and comprehensive approach to deficit reduction."