U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) joined a bipartisan group of 166 House Members last night to vote against the insufficient legislation aimed at addressing the so-called "fiscal cliff." The following is a statement from Congressman Gibbs addressing his vote on the Senate amendment to H.R. 8:
"Throughout the President's entire campaign, he spoke of seeking a "balanced' approach to solve the fiscal cliff. Yet last night, a bill was brought to the floor that raises taxes on small businesses and offers zero spending cuts. In fact, the bill that was before Congress last night actually increases spending by $330 billion, while adding almost $4 trillion to the deficit. I was also appalled at the President's comments this week that future negotiations by House Republicans to cut spending would be met with additional tax increases.
"There certainly are some components of the bill with which I agree, including provisions for which I have voted to support throughout the past two years. I always supported extending the 2012 tax rates for all income levels, as well as repealing the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. However, in the end, this bill raises taxes on many Americans and job creators, and does not address the country's most dire spending problem. We must find a balanced solution that addresses the crux of this economic crisis, which is the federal government's abhorrent and reckless spending.
"In addition to the tax increases from H.R. 8, the temporary payroll tax holiday will expire, resulting in an additional two percent in taxes on every single American earning a paycheck. Three major Obamacare taxes will also take effect in 2013, including a new medical device tax, an increase on investment income, and a higher Medicare payroll tax for higher earners.
"This country's deficit spending is unsustainable. Passing a bill without addressing it is downright irresponsible and will ultimately lead to less economic opportunities and more hardships. This legislation does nothing to balance the budget, and worse, it serves as a punishment to hardworking Americans who have developed successful businesses. It stifles our already fragile economy, keeping the private sector from prospering. Last night's bill is absolutely not the answer to our economic crisis."
H.R. 8 includes the following items to support several special interests:
* A tax break for a seven year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complex property (projected to cost $43 million over two years;
* Alters a law setting conditions under which the president could reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal;
* Extends higher excise taxes to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands;
* Extends "special expensing rules for certain film and television productions," a subsidy to Hollywood studios;
* Tax breaks for the wind and solar industries.