By BRAD KELLAR
U.S. Representative Ralph Hall (R-Rockwall) was among the lawmakers voting against a tax package designed to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday night to pass the Senate agreement. In a statement issued Wednesday, Hall said he voted against due to lack of spending cuts and an increase in the debt by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.
“We needed to keep the tax rates from increasing – but we also needed to find the spending cuts necessary not only to prevent an increase in the debt but also to reduce the debt,” Hall said. “Our economy is suffering from the weight of the federal debt, and the Senate agreement ignores the difficult decisions that need to be made about spending cuts and reforms that would put us back on a proper fiscal path.”
Hall said his constituents were strongly opposed to any agreement that did not include significant spending cuts.
“I agreed with them and so voted – and I will continue to support efforts to cut federal spending and reduce the deficit in the coming weeks,” Hall said. “We missed an opportunity to put in place a plan that would avoid the fiscal cliff and enact spending cuts and tax reforms to reduce the debt and help restore fiscal responsibility. The American people gave the Republican Party a majority in the U.S. House, which has the Constitutional duty and authority to set tax and spending policies. We are fighting a battle against a liberal President, a liberal Senate, and a liberal press. We hope the American people will insist on a balanced, common-sense, and Constitutional approach and will convey their wishes to the President and the Senate.”