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Murphy, Doyle Support 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

The Moon and Robinson-area members of Congress vote in favor of legislation to stave off steep, automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

Congressmen Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, cast votes in favor of American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, legislation put in place to avert a so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and federal spending cuts.

Congress on Tuesday night approved the bill in a 257 to 167 vote. The plan maintains tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 and couples earning less than $450,000, and increases taxes for those earning more.

President Barack Obama signed the deal into law early Thursday morning. Of the vote, 172 Democrats, including Doyle, and 85 Republicans, including Murphy, favored the bill.

The law's passage capped off weeks of gridlocked negotiations as Washington lawmakers wrangled over spending cuts and tax increases for higher income earners. 

GOP lawmakers argued the bill did not offer steep enough spending cuts to social and health programs—151 house Republicans voted "no" on the measure. 

Murphy, whose district covers Moon, Crescent and portions of Robinson, called the bill "imperfect:"

“The process and product are imperfect, but what has been achieved can’t be overlooked. We’ve overcome the impasse to permanently lock in lower tax rates for 99 percent of taxpayers. Tonight’s vote opens the door for work to begin in the next session of Congress on significant cuts in federal spending, meaningful tax reform, and pro-growth policies to get our country back on solid fiscal footing.”

Doyle, whose district includes portions of Robinson, released the following statement: 

“I supported this legislation to prevent tax increases on the middle class and harm to our economy. This bill will prevent income taxes from going up on households with incomes of less than $450,000 a year and individuals with incomes of less than $400,000. In addition, it will extend emergency unemployment benefits for another year.  Finally, it provides a permanent fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax—and a year-long “doc” fix. I was glad that at the last minute, Congress came together to prevent a devastating blow to our economy and to tens of millions of middle- and working-class Americans.”

 

What are your thoughts on the American Taxpayer Relief Act? Were Murphy and Doyle correct to vote in favor of the bill? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

Jerry Keller January 03, 2013 at 12:18 PM
In a perfect world, this legislation would have included significant spending cuts and I'm sure both Congressmen would have wanted that. Also, in a perfect world there would have been no pork slipped into this legislation and I'm sure that would have been preferred by both Congressmen. And, on the surface hardline conservatives will probably say we would have been better off had the legislation failed. But, half a loaf is better than nothing at this point. Tax increases on the middleclass were averted and we are now poised for the toe to toe fight on spending in a couple months. No, it wasn't the best deal possible but it was the best option on the table. Sometimes it's not who wins the battle but who is left standing to continue fighting the war and this fight isn't over by a long shot.
Kiwi January 03, 2013 at 01:51 PM
We will never be able to tax our way out of the financial mess we are in. We have a gigantic spending and borrowing problem, not a tax problem. Higher taxes on some will just be passed on to the rest of us via increased prices and fees, and decreased job production. No one wins. Bravo, Congress. Once again, you did what appears intelligent to the unintelligent, and what you know, in fact, to be no help at all.
Mike L January 05, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Time to have the States demand term limits and mandatory retirement age for Federal Senators and Representatives that matches the rest of the Federal Government workforce! No Senator or Representative should hold elected Federal Office longer than five years. They should also not get paid once they leave office. The Representative form of government originally envisioned and agreed upon when the Constitution was adopted has been forgotten! No one we elect to represent us in Washington D.C. should ever consider that privelage to be a career. The sad thing about the whole situation; we keep electing the same people to office thinking they might make different choices. No matter which political party you consider yourself aligned with, aren't you tired of "big talk, and no action"?

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