King, Latham vote no on fiscal cliff bill

U.S. Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham both voted against the bill written to pull the nation back from the fiscal cliff because, they said, it doesn’t do anything to cut federal spending.

King, R-Kiron, called the bill ”bad for our country.”

Latham, R-Clive, opposed the bill in perhaps his last vote as the congressman representing the district that includes Webster County. At noon today, he begins representing the Third Congressional District in southwest Iowa and King starts serving the new Fourth Congressional District that includes Webster County.

The bill passed the House of Representatives late Tuesday night on a 257-167 vote.

Both of Iowa’s senators, Republican Charles Grassley and Democrat Tom Harkin, voted against the bill when the Senate passed it early Tuesday morning.

”I opposed this bill because it raises taxes without any plan to reduce the deficit,” King said in a written statement. ”It simply kicks the can further down the road and ensures the president will have another crack at taxpayers’ wallets while offering no substantive solutions to stop this spending crisis.”

Latham offered a similar opinion.

”Because the final legislation asked everything of taxpayers while not forcing Washington to even begin a single step toward curbing its spending addiction, I cannot support it,” he said.

The two congressmen said they supported the tax cuts included in the bill. They said they also supported its provisions to extend the farm bill, along with the tax credits for wind energy and biodiesel.

King said the fiscal cliff bill postpones for two months the automatic spending cuts called sequestration. He described sequestration as ”the only serious effort to begin reining in federal spending that’s currently on the table.”

”This bill will ensure that the president has yet another opportunity two months from now to pressure Congress for more tax and revenue increases,” he added.

Latham described the $3.5 trillion federal budget as ”our primary fiscal obstacle.”

”A bill that increases taxes and fails to even begin to address spending decisions is not the action American taxpayers have asked for,” he said.