Fiscal cliff: Some lawmakers concerned about deal
Congress has passed a deal that would avert the fiscal cliff. That sent the Dow soaring for the first time in weeks, but not everyone is happy with the deal.
Some lawmakers are concerned the new agreement will leave us even worse off than before.
On the first day of trading of the new year, the Dow jumped more than 200 points.
“This law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everyone,” President Obama said on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
The measure, now headed to President Obama's desk, will prevent an income tax increase on workers earning less than $400,000 a year. It will also extend unemployment benefits for some two million people looking for work.
However, the bill doesn’t include extending a social security payroll tax cut past the end of the year, so workers will now be paying about 2 percent more in social security taxes.
“What we’re really doing is raising taxes to give the president more money to spend. We think that is a bad idea,” says John Fleming, (R) LA.
Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, who was one of the 16 democrats who didn’t vote for the bill, says this deal will lead to a dramatically shrinking government.
“This is a new day and it’s not a bright day and I’m afraid that this was very much small ball. It was kicking the can down the road and every time you kick the can it gets heavier,” says Moran, (D) VA.
Moran says this could lead to yet another so-called fiscal cliff.
In just months, automatic across-the-board spending cuts to the Pentagon and other agencies will be up. The so-called debt ceiling will also be reached in two months if Congress doesn’t act.
After the drama over the past few weeks, Moran isn’t confident working out these issues will be easy.
President Obama returned to Hawaii to finish his holiday vacation, so it isn’t clear when he will sign the bill.