Late last night, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson reluctantly and cautiously supported the Senate Amendment to HR 8 which helped America avoid the pending tax rate increases commonly known as the Fiscal Cliff. Congresswoman Johnson made the following statement after voting for this difficult but necessary measure:
"Last night's vote in the House was one of the hardest votes I have cast in my tenure in Congress. The agreement was not a perfect proposal, but it avoided serious damage to our national economy. One of my concerns about the measure is that it did not generate nearly enough revenue. I am afraid that the haste and the lack of detailed effort will ultimately translate to a series of tax hikes and spending cuts in future years that will negatively impact the middle class and the poor.
I have serious reservations about any attempt to cut benefits in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I am committed to evaluating the impact of the funding used to pay for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR or "doc fix"). I strongly oppose cuts to services for diabetes, end stage renal disease, and other illnesses disproportionately impacting my constituents. As a non-practicing registered nurse, I know how devastating these cuts would be for medical services in underserved communities.
I am pleased to see that the Senate approved a one-year extension of unemployment insurance benefits, providing necessary support for those looking to return to work as the economy recovers. I am also pleased to learn that deep cuts for many important programs that support the most vulnerable and provide pathways to prosperity for millions of Americans, including Head Start and WIC, were delayed. I would have preferred to see a long term extensions to these critical provisions."