Fiscal Cliff: Alaska Roll Call
I’m always fascinated watching the roll calls for bills that pass through the legislature, especially when we have a rare moment of harmony across party lines in Alaska.
On Tuesday, an 89-8 vote in the Senate passed the “Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012,” (aka the Fiscal Cliff Bill) which lobbed the ball to the House of Representatives.
Voting yes on the Senate bill were 47 Democrats, 40 Republicans and 2 independents, including both Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) and Mark Begich (D).Voting no were 3 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
The 257-167 vote by which the House passed the agreement, hours later saw yes votes from 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans, including Alaska Rep. Don Young. Voting no were 16 Democrats and 151 Republicans.
The passage of the bill avoided the so-called “fiscal cliff” of middle-class tax increases and spending cuts, and sent the measure to President Barack Obama.
So, for those of you keeping tabs, we’ve got Alaska congressional delegation harmony yet again this week – Frankenfish, and the Fiscal Cliff. Not only are they all in agreement, but that would be an awesome name for a band.
Don’t get too excited about the end of the fiscal cliff, though. Money matters are still pressing.
Leaders in Washington deferred for two months the $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts (known as “sequestration”) set to hit the Pentagon and domestic programs this week. Additionally, the bill passed this week failed to raise the debt ceiling, even though the Treasury technically hit the $16.4 trillion limit Monday. Both of these issues will come to a head just as Congress is expected to vote on a new federal budget. The convergence of these issues practically guarantees that within a matter of weeks, Washington will once again find itself embroiled in another fiscal crisis.
In remarks Tuesday night, President Obama urged that Washington address these remaining fiscal issues “with a little bit less drama, a little less brinksmanship, [so as to] not scare the heck out of folks quite as much.”
Good luck with that.