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Northland Lawmakers React to Fiscal Cliff Deal

Posted at: 01/02/2013 6:02 PM
Updated at: 01/02/2013 7:02 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

Legislation to block the "fiscal cliff" only needs President Obama's signature. The federal budget bill will avoid major income tax increases, but many workers will still face tax hikes.

The passed deal will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, while raising tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. But the deal only covers income tax. The Social Security payroll tax cut was allowed to expire, meaning many workers will see their paychecks go down 2 percent.

Here in the Northland, all six U.S. Senators from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan voted "yes" for the deal. Republican congressmen Chip Cravaack and Sean Duffy voted against the budget bill.

"The President talked about a balanced approach, which when he said that it was revenue and it was spending cuts," said Rep. Sean Duffy. "This package was just revenue and spending, not spending cuts. So I voted against it."

Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar voted for the deal and said she would continue to push for a broader plan to reduce the debt.

"I voted for this compromise because the last thing we should be doing this New Year's is sticking middle class families with a tax," said Sen. Klobuchar in a prepared statement. "I fought for and wanted a larger, more comprehensive plan that balanced revenues and spending cuts."

The next step is for President Obama to sign the bill into law, which he said he would do. The White House has not released any information indicating when the president would receive the bill.

Lawmakers are now looking two months down the road. In March they will have to address the debt ceiling and automatic cuts to spending and defense.