NEW INFO: Bill to Avoid Fiscal Cliff Passes; How Wisconsin Voted

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

UPDATED 11:06pm:

Wondering how Wisconsin's Representatives voted on the Fiscal Cliff Bill?

U.S. Senate
Ron Johnson (R)
Herb Kohl (D)

U.S. House
Reid Ribble (R)
Ron Kind (D)
Paul Ryan (R)
Tammy Baldwin (D)
Gwen Moore (D)

Sean Duffy (R)
Jim Sensenbrenner(R)
Tom Petri (R)

Sean Duffy, who voted 'no' on the bill, gave NewsChannel 7 the following statement:

"I respect the effort that went into crafting this agreement which will prevent tax increases for many Americans, including many of the hard-working Wisconsin families. While my constituents want lower taxes, they also demand fiscal responsibility. They know that with more than $16 trillion of debt and borrowing $1 trillion a year our country is on an unsustainable path. I voted against this deal because it does not include a serious, sustainable plan for balancing the budget and reducing our debt."

Reid Ribble, who voted 'yes', sent a release with the following statement:

“Although this bill is far from ideal, and there is still much to be done, this legislation will provide tax certainty to millions of Americans and hardworking families. This bill also averts the dairy cliff by protecting dairy farmers, manufacturers, and consumers from substantial market uncertainty and higher retail prices.

"Going over the fiscal cliff would mean tax increases on everyone and that is not what our fragile economy needs right now. I have said time and again that we should keep tax rates where they are until comprehensive tax reform can be achieved, and this bill does that for nearly 99 percent of all Americans.

"I hope that the President and Senator Harry Reid will work on closing the gap and coming up with a solution that will address 100 percent of the problem. I have been outspoken that in order to get our economy back on track, revenue must go up and spending must go down. There is no other way to put it, so until there is significant spending cuts, our country will wind up back in the same upside down situation: spending more than we take in.

"The drama and controversy that surround all of these 11th hour votes unfortunately overshadowed several important provisions for northeast Wisconsin. I am pleased that the bill includes an extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract dairy program. I led a large number of my House and Senate colleagues to press for its inclusion because going over the dairy cliff would threaten northeast Wisconsin’s most vital industries. I am also supportive of language in the bill to prevent a scheduled reduction in Medicare physician payment rates to ensure continued access to care for seniors.

"The path to this fiscal cliff vote was distasteful and unfortunate I hope that with the start of the New Year and 113th Congress there will be less focus on partisan games and more on fixing problems.”

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Legislation to block the "fiscal cliff" is headed to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. The bill will avoid, for now, the major tax increases and government spending cuts that had been scheduled to take effect with the new year.

Final approval came in the House on New Year's Night. The vote was 257 to 167.

The Senate passed the bill less than 24 hours earlier.

The measure raises tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, a victory for Obama.

It also extends expiring unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevents a cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and cancels a $900 pay increase due to lawmakers in March.

Another provision is designed to prevent a spike in milk prices.

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