Cantor, McCarthy Join 151 Republicans Against Bill

Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013 01:10 AM

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Majority House Leader Eric Cantor and GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy were among the 151 Republicans who voted against the fiscal cliff bill in the House Tuesday night.

Speaker John Boehner and Republican Conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the number four in the party hierarchy in the House, both voted in favor of the bill that was introduced in the House by the GOP's Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp.

The party was split with around two-thirds of House Republicans voting against the bill aimed at keeping a plethora of tax rates from going up this year.

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It even divided one married Republican couple. Florida's Connie Mack voted against while his wife Mary Bono Mack of California voted in favor.

The biggest complaint was that the bill — which had earlier passed by an overwhelming 89-8 vote in the Senate — did not include enough spending cuts while increasing taxes on Americans who make more than $450,000 per year.

Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam joined the no votes, along with influential oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa.

Budget committee chairman and former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan voted for while former presidential candidate Ron Paul was among five GOP members who did not cast a vote.

The bill passed the house 257 to 167 as 85 Republicans and 172 Democrats voted to send the bill to the president to be signed, and 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats voted no.

Cantor "was disappointed with the bill that passed the Senate late last night," the Virginia congressman's deputy chief of staff, told Politico. "That's why you saw him working all day to find an alternative with the leadership. That's why you saw two conference meetings to deal with what all alternatives.”

Republicans also discussed the possibility of amending the bill by adding additional spending cuts to it, however the Senate would have been required to vote to approve the new version of the bill. Senate Democratic leaders already had indicated earlier in the day that they would not vote on the bill again.

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Had the bill not passed the House, tax rates on all Americans were set to go up — which gave pause to many Republicans who voted against it.

"I'd like to be speaking for this bill, but I can't," said Californian Issa during the debate. "I would like to vote for this because I do vote for lower taxes. But the other day in conference, one of my colleagues pointed out that in fact you're spending the money, you're taxing our future generation."

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