Houston Legislators Comment On Fiscal Cliff Bill

Not every GOP lawmaker was happy about the "fiscal cliff" compromise, including a Sugar Land Republican who thought it was a bad deal. Meanwhile, a local Democrat says the deal had to get done. But what will the legislation mean down the road?

The measure passed the U.S. House with the support of all Texas Democrats and four Republicans, including Kevin Brady of the Woodlands.

Rep. Ron Paul of Lake Jackson was the lone member of the Texas delegation who did not cast a ballot.

Sugar Land Republican Pete Olson voted no, saying that President Obama's failure to lead America out of this dangerous fiscal crisis impacts every American.

"The bigger picture is that the President failed to take the steps to address the real fiscal cliff, our exploding national debt. Pat, it's $16 trillion dollars today. It'll go up to $22 trillion by the time President Obama leaves office. We added $4 trillion to it last night, and where is that going to? We're straddling our kids with that debt. I mean again, the President ran on tax increases; he got them. They do nothing to reduce our debt."

He says the legislation offered lawmakers a chance to make real changes and address the debt crisis. Instead, they side-stepped the chance to reduce spending, keep taxes low and create an environment for growth:

"I refuse to be part of a generation that doesn't pay for our problems, and dumps that bill on my kids and grandkids. That's what we're fighting for up here in Washington: to make sure we have some fiscal sanity, to control spending, lower taxes, less Washington."

East Houston lawmaker Gene Green joined fellow Democrats in support of the measure, but he says the issue of spending is one that both parties should be concerned with.

"We have to go in and see how we can cut federal spending, at the same time not hurt our economy. So I'm hoping there'll be some stability on taxes, but now in Congress every day we need to be looking at how we can cut spending."

He admitted that the deal wasn't perfect, but thought the nation needed to move forward.

"If we hadn't done something, then all of a sudden all of these cuts and tax increases (would) had gone into effect. That's why I think the American people had been wanting this compromise and that's what we did. We had a bi-partisan vote, a majority of the Democrats did support it, a minority of the Republicans did, but enough to make it 218. So we, that's the definition of a compromise to me."

Support of the deal will prevent large income tax increases on most Americans, and prevent the broad cuts to military and domestic spending that were set to take effect.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...