While most of Orange County’s Congressional Republicans voted against the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the compromise that kept the nation from falling over the so-called fiscal cliff, two prominent legislators broke ranks with the GOP to pass the bill.
Longtime Los Alamitos Rep. Ed Royce, voted in favor of the act along with Gary Miller, who represents Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita. The two are among the five GOP congressmen representing Orange County Patch cities who signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to raise taxes. Three of their Orange County colleagues voted against the deal, including Rep. John Campbell, who represents Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach and Lake Forest, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who represents Fountain Valley and Seal Beach until 2013 when he will represent the new 48th District stretching from Seal Beach to Laguna Beach and Aliso Viejo, and Congressman Darrell Issa, who will represent Dana Point, San Clemente, Coto De Caza, San Juan Capistrano and Ladera Ranch in the new 49th District.
Royce was quoted in The Orange County Register today, explaining his decision “This bill protects millions of Americans from harsh tax hikes – hikes that would have been a systemic shock to our already weak economy,” Royce said on the House floor before the vote. “Tax relief has been achieved. Now is the time for the president to work with Congress to address government overspending, the underlying problem.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 to avert the fiscal cliff late Tuesday night. The vote was 257 to 167.
The bill permanently extends current tax rates for income less than $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for households, along with a combination of other spending cuts without raising the nation’s debt limit.
The deal does not include the payroll tax break that expired at the end of 2012. For people earning $50,000 in annual salary, that means a loss of around $80 per month to higher taxes, or about an extra $1,000 per year.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed the fiscal cliff compromise Tuesday at 2 a.m. with a vote of 89-8.
Campbell took to Facebook to voice his displeasure with the bill, posting his own quote from a New York Times article: “I personally hate it…The speaker the day after the election said we would give on taxes, and we have, but we wanted spending cuts. This bill has spending increases. Are you kidding me?”
Issa appeared on CNN to make his case, arguing that the bill’s absence of significant spending cuts makes it unpalatable. In speech on the House floor, he said, “When faced with a mountain of debt that we’re heading for like an airplane, did we climb over the it? No. What we are going to do in the present plan is put nearly another trillion dollars worth of debt on the American people.”
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