Rep. Hurt Explains His Vote Against Fiscal Cliff Deal

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

January 2, 2013

Rep. Robert Hurt, from the Virginia 5th District, joined 150 other Republicans in the House by voting against the "fiscal cliff" deal Tuesday night.

Hurt says he could not support the bill because it did not have any significant spending cuts.

"I would have supported sending the bill back with spending cuts," said Hurt.

That action would have sent the amended bill back to the Senate. Hurt says, since the "fiscal cliff" deadline had already passed, it would have been worth waiting a little longer to see if a better deal could be reached.

"I believe that this is pretty doggone important," said Hurt. "We owe it to the American people to get this right, not just to rush to agree to something."

Hurt places most of the blame for the last-minute rush on the Senate and the White House. He says the House presented a proposal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" months ago, but the Senate never responded.

Hurt and other Republicans will get several opportunities in the coming weeks to try to pass spending cuts. The new Congress will work on a new budget, and in February, they will debate whether or not to raise the debt ceiling again.

Hurt says, if Congress does not pass serious deficit-reducing legislation before the debt ceiling deadline, it will be even worse than missing the "fiscal cliff" deadline.

Hurt was far from the only member of the Virginia delegation to vote against the deal. In fact, only one of Virginia's 11 representatives voted in favor of it.

Here's how every member of Congress from Virginia voted:

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D)
Sen. Jim Webb (D)
Sen. Mark Warner (D)

Rep. Robert Wittman (R)
Rep. Scott Rigell (R)
Rep. Robert Scott (D)
Rep. Randy Forbes (R)
Rep. Robert Hurt (R)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R)
Rep. Eric Cantor (R)
Rep. James Moran (D)
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R)
Rep. Frank Wolf (R)

A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated Rep. Hurt did not support the bill because there weren't spending cuts for Social Security or Medicare. Hurt did call for reforms to those two programs, but did not specifically call for spending cuts. We regret the error.

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