Campaign News
January 01, 2013

How they voted: Alabama representatives on the fiscal cliff legislation

George Talbot   ·   ·  Link to Article

All six of Alabama's Republican congressional delegates voted against legislation to block the so-called "fiscal cliff" as the measure was approved by the House tonight.

U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus, Jo Bonner, Mo Brooks, Martha Roby and Mike Rogers all voted against the bill, which was approved by a 257-167 vote.

The state's lone Democratic representative in Washington, Rep. Terri Sewell of Birmingham, voted in favor of the legislation, which now goes to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

The agreement was approved by the Senate early Tuesday, with Alabama's two U.S. senators splitting their votes.

Bonner said he had strong objections to the way the bill was presented to lawmakers.

“At the end of the day I just couldn’t support – with my one vote – such a flawed process," Bonner said. “There is simply no way Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison or our other founding fathers could have ever envisioned having the Senate pass a $4 trillion addition to the debt of our nation at 2:00 a.m., only to have the House take it up less than 20 hours later and there be no regard for the long-term damage we are doing to America’s future."

Roby said she could not support any deal that did not include spending cuts.

“I ran for Congress campaigning on the need to get government spending under control," Roby said. "A last-minute deal that raises taxes without cutting spending goes against my core beliefs and against the conservative values of Alabama’s Second Congressional District."

Brooks said in a statement before the vote was taken that the bill was not properly deliberated.

“This extraordinarily complex legislation dramatically impacts taxes, revenue, the economy, our debt, health care, and a myriad of other issues," Brooks said. "It is wrong to rush monumental legislation through Congress in a way that denies the American people an opportunity to review, understand, and share their insight with Congress. I could not, in good conscience, condone with my vote a flawed process that denies the American people an opportunity to participate in their Republic on issues of this magnitude.”

Sewell said the bill was a good compromise and that it would lower taxes for the vast majority of Americans.

"While not perfect, the bill is a balanced and measured approach that includes revenues and spending cuts and permanently extends vital tax cuts for the middle class and working families," Sewell said.

She said the bill would extend emergency unemployment benefits to more than 18,000 Alabamians who have experienced long-term unemployment.

Bachus said he sought to include spending cuts in the House bill, a move that would have returned the bill to the Senate for a second vote. But that effort failed for lack of support among House Republicans.

“The legislation could have been much improved with the addition of spending cuts. The House, in fact, had already identified more than $200 billion in immediate potential savings," Bachus said. "Unfortunately, the legislation sent to the House by the Senate actually increased the debt by $4 trillion. We cannot afford to keep adding to a debt that is already a threat to both our economic prosperity and national security, and without greater balance I could not vote for the legislation.”

Click here to see the final roll call of votes published by the Clerk of the House.

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