The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 1, 2013

Ala. politicians weigh in on fiscal cliff deal

— Alabama Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby are sharply divided on a deal that was proposed to avoid tax increases on the middle class and major cuts to government spending.

The Senate early Tuesday voted 89-8 to approve the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 — a deal Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky negotiated.

The proposal prevents tax increases on the middle class, but imposes higher rates on higher incomes.

Sessions issued a statement Tuesday saying the legislation is necessary to end a period of uncertainty that may impact the country’s opportunities for economic growth.

Shelby says he does not support the agreement, and the country needs to exercise fiscal restraint.

The House of Representatives will now review the proposal.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) addressed the U.S. House Tuesday afternoon, calling for a calm, deliberative evaluation of the fiscal cliff bill passed in the Senate in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Brooks charged the House to “postpone this vote until Congress and the American people have time to study and evaluate this extraordinarily complex legislation and its impact on taxes, revenue, the economy, our debt, and a myriad of other issues. It is better to get it right than act in haste.”

The Senate-passed bill is more than 50 pages long, and affects hundreds of billions in spending.

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