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How Did WA Legislators Vote on the Fiscal Cliff Compromise? You Might be Surprised

How did WA legislators vote on Fiscal Cliff?
(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

The roll call is in for the measure that averted — at least for now — the “fiscal cliff.”

How did our Washington representatives and senators cast their votes? Some of the votes might surprise you.

Senators Murray and Cantwell voted yes (both are Democrats). That’s not unusual, but some of the House of Representatives votes might be.

Doc Hastings, who represents our region in Southeastern Washington, and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, who represents Spokane, voted YES.

Yes votes also came from every other member of our congressional delegation – except two.

More on that in a moment.

Hastings, McMorris-Rodgers, and the other GOP House members said that while the bill fell far short of fixing budget problems, it did head off income tax hikes on Washingtonians who make less than $400,000 a year. They were part of the 85 GOP house members who were in favor.

The only two who voted against the so-called fiscal cliff bill were Rep. Adam Smith and Jim McDermott — both west-side Democrats. That’s rather ironic.

The fiscal cliff was a tricky proposition. Either let the nation fall off the cliff with the $1 trillion in budget cuts and tax cuts expiring, or re-instate the tax cuts but watch the debt balloon even higher. The compromise bill will increase the deficit by $4.5 trillion over the next decade.

GOP members were caught between a tax and a hard place. Many of them were under extreme pressure to not allow new taxes or spending increases to take place, but also to find ways to cut government spending. H.R. 8, as it was labeled, does not tackle the real issue of sequestration, or mandatory budget eliminations to meet spending goals.  Congress still must figure out what to do with those, which would have hit defense spending the hardest.

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