U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today made the following remarks following a vote early this morning on the American Taxpayer Relief Act, legislation to address the so-called fiscal cliff:
"Americans should not be made to pay the price of partisan politics and inaction in Washington, especially in a stalled economy," Roberts said. "Kansans have families to raise, businesses to run and jobs to do. They deserve certainty from their government and decisive action from their elected leaders which is why I voted to provide permanent tax relief to protect more than 99 percent of taxpayers. I voted to keep every cent possible in the paychecks of Kansans so they can get on with planning their futures while we go back to work to cut spending.
"Make no mistake: I will vigorously fight to stop President Obama and Washington liberals from raising taxes and increasing deficit spending as America faces serious debt and fiscal crisis in the new year. The debt ceiling debate will enable us to make significant spending reductions. I have proven it can be done. I worked across the aisle to pass a Senate Farm Bill that cut spending by $24 billion. I am committed to building on those efforts for future generations of Americans.
"While this deal is not the comprehensive solution I was seeking to America's debt crisis, delay or inaction on taxes would have only harmed our economy, damaged retirement savings, and penalized Kansans of all ages.
"I am pleased that the final agreement also includes an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill through the end of September 2013. While this extension is not the best possible bill, I believe it is the best bill possible at this time. It provides consumers certainty by avoiding the dairy cliff, and it provides certainty to our producers and their lenders as Congress continues work on a Farm Bill in 2013."
The bill passed the Senate 89-8.
Senator Roberts is ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance which has jurisdiction on taxes.