U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) voted this evening to pass compromise legislation that will prevent massive tax increases and spending cuts (the "fiscal cliff") from taking place.
"I supported this legislation to prevent tax increases on the middle class and harm to our economy," Congressman Doyle said after the vote. "This bill will prevent income taxes from going up on households with incomes of less than $450,000 a year and individuals with incomes of less than $400,000. In addition, it will extend emergency unemployment benefits for another year. Finally, it provides a permanent fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax -- and a year-long "doc" fix. I was glad that at the last minute, Congress came together to prevent a devastating blow to our economy and to tens of millions of middle- and working-class Americans."
"That being said, this legislation fell far short of my hopes and expectations," Congressman Doyle cautioned. "We still have a long way to go to get our economy back on track and get the federal budget under control. We still need a balanced, more comprehensive agreement combining spending cuts and more revenue with entitlement reforms that will avoid harming our most vulnerable citizens. I also believe that any savings or increased revenue produced by changes in Social Security should be used only for strengthening the Social Security Trust Fund -- and not for deficit reduction."
The House of Representatives passed HR 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, by a vote of 257 to 167 this evening. The Senate approved HR 8 early this morning by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 89 to 8. The legislation will now be sent to President Obama, who has said he will sign it into law. The legislation approved today extends most of the tax cuts that were scheduled to expire, and it delays the spending cuts by two months.