Clyburn Statement on Tonight's House Vote

Jan 2, 2013

WASHINGTON – Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn delivered the following statement on the floor of the House on tonight’s vote:

          Mr. Speaker, it is tempting to say it’s about time the House put aside extreme partisanship and work together on compromise to address the nation’s most pressing issues.  But in reality, it is far past time that weput aside its extreme partisanship.  Throughout the entirety of the 112th Congress, the Republican Leadershiprepeatedly put its own narrow political interests ahead of the public interest.

          So here we are on New Year’s night, with the clock running out on the very existence of this Congress, finally considering bipartisan legislation to provide middle class tax cuts, require the wealthiest to once again pay their fair share so we can grow the economy, create jobs and protect the most vulnerable in our society.  It is indeed well past time we got about the people’s business.

          Mr. Speaker, in 2011, I served on the Biden group of both Republican and Democratic Representatives and Senators who worked with the Vice President on our nation’s fiscal issues.  We made good progress in those talks until our Republican friends walked away, fearing the wrath of the Tea Party Caucus here in the House. 

          I also served on the bipartisan Joint Select Committee Deficit Reduction Committee, the so-called Super-Committee that spent countless hours discussing these issues in detail.  It was very clear that the elements of a fair and balanced fiscal plan were achievable.  But at the end of the process, the Republican leaders refused to compromise and the Super Committee failed.

          So here we are.  While this bill is not perfect, and I have serious concerns about some of the cuts it contains, it does contain the element of fairness.  This bill protects the middle class and working people with a more progressive tax code than we’ve had in a very long time.  And this bill prevents the meat axe approach of budget cuts that could do severe damage to our national defense and important domestic priorities.

          Mr. Speaker, I hope that the partisanship of the 112th Congress will end this week with the end of the 112th Congress.  And I am hopefulthat the 113th Congress can work together toward honorable compromises that get the people’s business done.  I urge a Yes vote.