"I had hoped Congress and the President would produce a solution that protected families and small businesses from higher taxes, overhauled our tax system to make it simpler and fairer, and significantly reduced our $16 trillion national debt. Instead, 2012 came to a frustrating end, and at 12:01am on January 1, the lower tax rates Americans were paying expired.
"So we were put in a position where higher taxes hit every working American -- an outcome that was absolutely unacceptable to me. Southwest Washington families and individuals cannot afford to send more of their hard-earned money to Washington, DC. The agreement Congress passed was not a long-term solution, and it did not accomplish everything that Southwest Washington deserves. However, the agreement I voted for does protect 99.5% of folks in our region from devastating tax hikes. It also extends tax relief for underwater homeowners and allows residents to deduct their sales tax, and will ensure Medicare patients can keep seeing their doctors. It makes important provisions permanent for Southwest Washington families like the marriage penalty relief and the child deduction tax credit.
"Now that the President has achieved his goal to make certain Americans pay higher taxes, I hope he will work with Congress on solutions that actually help our economy and provide more opportunities for hardworking folks. The most urgent action we must take is to tackle the debt that threatens our nation's future.
"This compromise is a first step, and we must take a bigger second step that puts an end to out-of-control federal spending. The compromise keeps the sequester in place, which is a bipartisan agreement to find more than $1 trillion in savings from every level of government. I will fight to make sure we keep this commitment to reducing federal spending, and will seek other ways to further tackle our debt as soon as possible."