U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) issued the following statement today after voting against H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which adds nearly $4 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years:
"No real spending cuts. No real deficit reduction. No acknowledgement of America's out-of-control national debt. This is a popular vote today, but it will harm America in the long run. It is good to see a return to bipartisanship, but not when it makes our fiscal problems worse.
"Congress is missing the chance of the decade to adopt a large, balanced deficit reduction plan such as Simpson-Bowles that combines tax relief with controlling federal spending.
"In just a few weeks, America will face another debt-ceiling crisis as well as sequestration. Today's fiscal Band-Aid may feel good now, but its relief will not even last until spring."
Cooper has long favored a balanced, bipartisan approach to tackling the national debt and fiscal cliff. He and U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) introduced the only bipartisan budget last spring, based on recommendations from the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission.
The Cooper-LaTourette budget was the only budget plan to receive bipartisan support in the House last year, and was widely praised by editorial boards across the country. Cooper and LaTourette were honored by the Concord Coalition in September 2012 for their political leadership and work to reduce the debt.