Perkiomen Valley representatives are responding to yesterday's congressional vote to avoid the “fiscal cliff”, which prevented the middle-class tax increase that was set to take effect this month while enacting a broad tax increase for households making over $450,000 annually.
The new bill, termed the “American Taxpayer Relief Act," marks the first time in 20 years that Republicans have approved a broad tax increase, according to the Washington Post.
U.S. Representatives Jim Gerlach and Pat Meehan, both Republicans representing the Perkiomen Valley, responded to their “yes” votes on the measure, along with all other U.S. Representatives from Pennsylvania.
“The choice came down to whether I would allow the President’s $4.6 trillion tax hike on every taxpayer to stand or act to repeal the tax increases for nearly all the families, small business owners and seniors in my district,” Gerlach said in a statement. “I would have preferred not raising taxes on anyone or, at the very least, balancing any revenue increases with honest spending reductions.
Meehan said that the agreement “deprives Washington of $4 trillion in new spending.”
“It is an imperfect agreement to be sure - I would have preferred it to contain action to get our arms around our outrageous debt," said Meehan. "But failure to pass it would have had disastrous consequences for middle-class families in Pennsylvania and fueled even more Washington spending.”
Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, called the deal “far from perfect," but believes that the Senate took appropriate steps to protect the middle class and to help those on unemployment, according to Brad Segall of CBS Local.
Segall said that, while Senator Pat Toomey hoped to avoid broad tax increase, his priority was to protect 99 percent of taxpayers, and to work on significant spending cuts needed to reduce the deficit.
For more a more extensive look at the American Taxpayer Relief Act, visit the Washington Post website.
For full text of the American Taxpayer Relief Act from Business Insider, click here.