Barber votes for fiscal cliff deal as it passes House - Tucson News Now

Barber votes for fiscal cliff deal as it passes House

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., voted for the bill Tuesday to avoid the fiscal cliff.

The House voted 257-167 to permanently extend income tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year and families earning less than $450,000 per year.

The bill also extends unemployment insurance for 2 million.

"We finally took the necessary step to extend tax cuts for more than 98 percent of Americans," Barber said. "But our job is far from over. We again have failed to substantively address our nation's growing debt and deficit."

While the bill Tuesday addressed income taxes and unemployment insurance, the agreement failed to address spending and pending budget cuts.

In August 2011, Congress approved a series of mandatory, automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal programs as part of a broad agreement to increase the debt ceiling. Those cuts, known as sequestration, were scheduled to go into effect tomorrow.

As part of Tuesday's budget agreement, which was voted on as a single package, the cuts were not averted but delayed for two months.

"While our debt is increasing by nearly $4 billion per day, we have voted to delay by two months making the common-sense spending cuts that we all know are necessary to give certainty to Americans, to businesses and to our entire economy."

Barber is opposed to the across-the-board cuts mandated by sequestration and is focused on reaching a balanced, bipartisan and responsible solution that will reduce our debt and deficit with thoughtful, prudent and targeted cuts.

"As we enter the 113th Congress and address our fiscal problems, I will continue fighting to protect critical programs for seniors, families and children that matter to Southern Arizonans and protect the missions at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca and the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard – all of which are essential to our local economy and the nation's defense."

Barber on Tuesday also voted to prohibit a pay increase for members of Congress in 2013.

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