Originally Posted Online: Jan. 01, 2013, 9:54 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 01, 2013, 11:07 pm

Local reps split votes on fiscal cliff bill

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Local Congressmen split their votes along party lines Tuesday night on the last-minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, voted against the bill, but issued no statement following the House action. U.S. Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Mount Vernon, and Bruce Braley, D-Dubuque, both gave tepid approval to the bill, but said their constituents deserved better from lawmakers.

"What we have seen take place in Washington over the last few months, and especially in the past few days, is nothing short of unconscionable," Rep. Loebsack said. "This is not a way to run the greatest country on earth. The people of Iowa expect and deserve better."

Rep. Loebsack said his No. 1 priority during the debates has been "to prevent middle class and working families from seeing their taxes go up at a time when millions are struggling to recover."

"While this deal is not what I would have preferred, I believe that we must allow it to pass in order for these tax rates to remain the same for those who simply cannot afford to see those rates increase," he said. He added Congress must now "lay the groundwork" for long-term economic prosperity.

Rep. Braley also said the bill was far from perfect. But he added it will affect the taxes paid by more than 99 percent of Iowans while keeping food and milk prices low. It also would extend the wind energy production tax credit, Rep. Braley said, and permanently extend the adoption tax credit.

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