U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05) released the following statement on tonight's vote on the fiscal cliff:
"I stand with President Obama and Vice President Biden in voting to avoid the "Fiscal Cliff.' This deal brings enormous tax relief for America's middle class and small businesses, while restoring certainty for our economy in a responsible manner.
"While some folks are upset that the President and Congress have compromised and lowered taxes at a threshold higher than the level President Obama campaigned on, going over the Fiscal Cliff is not an option for the two million Americans who rely on unemployment benefits, or for the 25 million American families and students who utilize the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. Furthermore, going over the Cliff would probably lead to the expiration of vital support for America's energy independence, with the elimination of renewable energy tax incentives, as well as the termination of a host of pro-business initiatives that Democrats have supported over the past four years to help our economy rebound from one of the worst financial crises in our nation's history. In short, going over the Cliff would be irresponsible for our nation's economic health.
"I have long advocated for a "big deal' to put an end to the semi-annual, self-inflicted wounds from unnecessary budget battles. While this deal does not address raising the debt ceiling -- something I would have liked to have seen as part of the package -- it does put in place a framework to move towards tax reform and alterations to the arbitrary spending cuts put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011. It also avoids a brutal cut in reimbursements to physicians treating patients utilizing Medicare, protecting our country's most vulnerable. Our fiscal stability requires a serious conversation about the budget; I am pleased this deal sends us in the right direction."