Indiana delegation divided on ‘cliff’ vote

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Indiana’s congressional delegation split on the fiscal cliff deal that the Senate approved in Tuesday’s wee morning hours and the House passed before the end of the night.

Four of the state’s lawmakers supported the last-minute effort to avert tax hikes on households that earn less than $450,000 per year and to push back by two months major spending cuts. Six lawmakers, meanwhile, voted against the measure. And one didn’t vote at all.

The state’s two Republican senators, Dan Coats and the outgoing Richard Lugar, both voted in favor of the bill. So did two of the state’s three Democratic House members — Andre Carson and Joe Donnelly, who is to be sworn in today as Lugar’s replacement in the Senate.

The third Democratic House member, Pete Visclosky, joined five Republicans in voting no. Those Republicans were Larry Bucshon, Todd Young, Marlin Stutzman, Todd Rokita and Mike Pence, whose vote was likely the last he’ll cast before becoming Indiana’s next governor.

Retiring Republican Rep. Dan Burton did not vote.

Donnelly said the measure “is far from perfect,” but that compromise was necessary.

“Too many in Washington have allowed their own political interests to trump their ultimate responsibility to work together to do what is best for our country. Moving forward, I strongly believe that we need to set politics aside and work together to reduce spending as we further put our fiscal house in order,” Donnelly said.

Bucshon, meanwhile, said the deal was “far from balanced” because it included more than $600 billion in tax increases on wealthy Americans but just $12 billion in spending cuts.

“It is not balanced in any way and will not improve our economy or reduce the deficit,” Bucshon said.

“Thousands of Indiana small businesses will be forced to figure out how they’ll pay this new tax and they are likely to do it by cutting back on employees, reducing hourly wages and many will have to lay off employees.”


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