The all Democratic Massachusetts House delegation voted for the compromise to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. By the very nature of compromise there were good things and bad things in the bill in the view of Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal. He called a yes vote " the responsible position".
Neal, who is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee said he spoke about the compromise with Vice President Joe Biden during the Democratic House caucus and he also spoke on the House floor before last night’s vote. Neal said he made the point that we got to the so-called “ fiscal cliff” because taxes were cut sharply at the same time the country was paying for two wars.
The compromise bill delays for two months spending cuts totaling $109 billion dollars in military and domestic programs. Republicans promise to use the upcoming debate on raising the nation’s debt ceiling to leverage deep spending cuts. Neal said that would be what he called “ a grievous error.”
Congressman Jim McGovern said he personally believes President Obama gave too much away in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
McGovern said he hopes the president stands firm in his pledge to oppose any cuts to entitlement programs during the political showdowns in the next two months.
Both Neal and McGovern decried the process that led to last nights’ vote. Neal said it continues a pattern of big decisions being reached at the last minute, bypassing the committee system, where legislation can get a full public airing.
Reporting from WAMC’s Pioneer Valley News Bureau on the Campus of Western New England University.