Rep. Gary Peters Lambasts GOP Over 'Fiscal Cliff' Delay
"In the New Year, we must come together to achieve long-term solutions to our nation’s financial challenges," the Michigan lawmaker urges.
United States Rep. Gary Peters said Wednesday that a "fiscal cliff" the nation narrowly avoided tumbling over never should have been an issue.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted late Tuesday night 257-167 to endorse a Senate measure approved earlier in the day to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," as tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush expired Jan. 1, in addition to automatic spending cuts that were delayed.
Peters, who represents Michigan's 9th District, including Berkley, said the cliff never should have happened. He voted in favor of the legislation passed Tuesday.
"I have been exceptionally frustrated by the Republicans' insistence on drawing out this self-inflicted crisis until the last possible moment," the Bloomfield Hills native, now in his third term, wrote in a statement Wednesday. "In the New Year, we must come together to achieve long-term solutions to our nation’s financial challenges."
Only 8.5 percent of Democrats voted nay, while 35.7 percent of Republicans voted in favor.
"I don’t know if playing chicken with the American people at this point is in the best interest of the people," freshman Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Penn., told the Washington Post.
On another controversial bill, Peters voted against a plan to freeze the salaries of lawmakers and federal employees. That bill passed 287 to 129, with 29.2 percent of Democrats voting with Republicans to approve the measure.
According to an article in the Washington Post's Politics blog, House Democrats charge that the vote to freeze salaries was intended to provide political cover for Republicans planning to vote against the fiscal cliff bill. The GOP-backed bill introduced late Monday would freeze the salaries of lawmakers and the nation’s 2 million federal employees for the remainder of fiscal 2013.