Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) made the following statement after voting against the Senate's fiscal cliff agreement:
"This debate is not over. My concerns about spending remain and I will continue to fight to reduce the deficit and pass commonsense tax reform to put our country on a more sustainable and prosperous path. We must find an alternative to arbitrary defense cuts, but simply delaying these difficult decisions without replacing the spending reductions is the wrong approach."
The fiscal cliff refers to the combination of automatic tax increases for all earners and arbitrary defense spending cuts which took effect on January 1, 2013. Tax increases are the result of the expiration of tax rates passed in 2001 and 2003, and extended in 2010. Cuts to defense are the result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which mandated the cuts unless a deficit reduction plan proposed by a bipartisan, bicameral "Super Committee" was enacted before 2013. The Super Committee announced it failed to reach an agreement in November, 2011.