Reporting Chris Simon
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Although the majority of the Minnesota delegation in the U.S. House and both Senators voted for the measure avoiding the cliff, it was a mixed bag and not necessarily along partisan lines.
Some, like Rep. Michele Bachmann, did adhere to party lines.
“This was a cynical, planned move, Mr. Speaker, by our President. He brought great drama to this effort,” said Bachmann before casting her “nay” vote.
Republican Rep. John Kline broke ranks and supported the bill, pleased to bring tax relief to the middle class and small businesses; though Kline said the bill isn’t perfect.
“Our nation remains in crisis,” he said, blaming runaway spending for “killing jobs.”
Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson is the only Democrat from Minnesota who voted against the bill.
Rep. Keith Ellison, also a Democrat, voted for the deal. However, like Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, he was not completely happy with how it did not address balancing revenues with spending and how it kept tax rates in place for incomes under $450,000 a year.
“Often, a deal is thrust upon you and you have little choice but to vote for it,” said Ellison.
Franken told WCCO he wanted the tax threshold lowered so as to bring in more revenue from those who can afford it.
“Because of that (failure), I worry we are not getting the revenue to both pay down the deficits and the debt and invest in education, innovation and infrastructure that we need,” Franken said.
According to the bill’s language, individuals earning $400,000 a year or less and households earning $450,000 a year or less will see their federal income taxes stay the same. In the U.S. House, 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats opposed the bill, which passed 257-167.
The deal does not prolong a 2 percent Social Security payroll tax break we’ve been enjoying the last several years, so pay checks will be a little lighter, but it’s good news for Minnesota’s more than 12,000 recipients of emergency unemployment insurance who will see their benefits extended.
How They Voted
U.S. Senate: Franken (D), Yes; Klobuchar (D), Yes.
U.S. House: Democrats — Ellison, Y; McCollum, Y; Peterson, N; Walz, Y. Republicans — Bachmann, N; Cravaack, N; Kline, Y; Paulsen, N.