UPDATE: Coble leans for cliff bill
North Carolina’s two senators, from different sides of the political aisle, both voted with the overwhelming majority of the Senate to approve the fiscal cliff bill Tuesday.
First-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and two-term Republican Sen. Richard Burr voted for the compromise legislation that would prevent tax increases for a vast cross-section of Americans and delay a series of major federal spending cuts. The Democratic-controlled Senate approved the measure 89-8.
The fate of the bill in the Republican-controlled House remained uncertain Tuesday evening. Rep. Howard Coble, R-6th, told The High Point Enterprise that he was leaning toward voting for the Senate bill, which he said “wasn’t perfect” but brought some certainty to taxes, such as the estate tax.
But Coble also told the newspaper he was leaning toward voting for an amended House bill that would include spending cuts of perhaps $300 billion. Any amended bill would have to return to the Senate for consideration.
Hagan, who once represented parts of High Point when she was a state legislator, said that she voted for the bill “so that we can stop a tax hike on middle class families in North Carolina. The average family in our state will see their taxes increase by $2,200 without this action.”
Hagan said a delayed decision on federal government cutbacks could have a significant impact on the state because of possible defense spending reductions, which could affect military personnel and bases in North Carolina.
“The challenges we face may be complex, but working together should not be this hard, and I will continue urging my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol to come together to work on a common sense solution,” Hagan said.
Burr, a former congressman from Winston-Salem, said he voted for the bill because it would prevent a tax increase on 99 percent of Americans.
Burr said the legislation also provides “permanent certainty” on the estate tax and Alternative Minimum Tax, a one-year protection for the reimbursement of doctors and extension of unemployment insurance for one year
“... The net result of the deal provides over $600 billion that should be used to pay down our national debt,” Burr said.
Five Republican senators and three Democratic senators voted against the fiscal cliff bill, according to a Senate website roll call vote listing.
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