Inhofe on Fiscal Cliff deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), joined a bi-partisan group of Senators in voting to avert a fiscal cliff and delay sequestration for two months. In a late night vote of 89-8, the deal permanently extends Bush tax cuts for a majority of Americans, prevents a death tax increase, and fixes the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT):

“While this deal to avoid the fiscal cliff is not perfect, Senate Democrats have caved to making permanent the Bush tax cuts for 99 percent of Americans,” said Inhofe. “The deal will cement the tax cuts for individuals making less than $400,000 a year or $450,000 for families, and permanently fix the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

“Even though President Obama wanted to extend the death tax exemption only up to $1 million, this deal extends the exemption for up to $5 million, $10 million for couples.  As I have travelled around Oklahoma, it has been clear to me that this is the single most important issue for our farmers, ranchers, and family owned businesses.

“One of my greatest concerns about the fiscal cliff has been the devastating cuts that would happen to our military due to defense sequestration.  This deal avoids those cuts for two months to allow for a better solution. While I would like to have sequestration addressed, I am hopeful the deal’s two-month delay will help us better prioritize deep spending cuts while protecting our military and national security.

“The deal also includes an important one year extension of the farm bill, and extends for one year provisions that prevent doctors from being forced to take rate cuts for treating Medicare patients.

I do not agree with the deal’s extension of unemployment benefits for another year or that it only achieves a small deficit reduction.  I look forward to negotiating more spending cuts when we deal with the debt limit increase.  Even though President Obama wanted that included in this deal, we are wisely waiting to address that separately so that we can have better spending cuts.  After four years of Obama running up $5.3 trillion in deficit spending, any deal to raise the debt ceiling must be contingent upon making significant cuts to get our fiscal house in order.

“This deal should be seen as a victory for conservatives as it achieves for the first time in decades a bipartisan agreement for permanent tax cuts for a majority of Americans. These tax cuts will help to restore certainty and encourage economic growth.”

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