Tea party, Yoder lose on fiscal cliff vote
The Kansas City Star
The fiscal cliff legislation approved late Tuesday was another embarrassing action by Congress.
The good news: The richest Americans will pay more taxes, as President Barack Obama wanted. Plus, two million people won’t lose their extended unemployment benefits, doctors’ fees won’t be sliced 27 percent for treating Medicare patients and the farm bill gets extended, blocking a possible large hike in milk prices.
The bad news: Spending cuts needed to help put America’s fiscal house in order were not included.
The whole process showed how incompetent the current Congress is to deal with the government’s financial problems.
In the end, though, the Senate and House correctly found more good than bad in the bill, endorsed it and sent it to Obama.
The legislation was a defeat for the tea party members in the Republican party. Many lobbied against it, as did Kevin Yoder, the Republican who represents affluent and moderate Johnson County in our area.
Other no votes came from KC-area tea party sympathizers Lynn Jenkins of Kansas and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri.
Democrat Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri supported the compromise bill.
Republican Sam Graves did not vote. The full House roll call is here.
The Star reported that Yoder had this to say on his position Tuesday: “Government overspending will not be cured by sending more tax dollars to Washington, D.C. I cannot support legislation that raises taxes without cutting spending and solving the debt crisis that will plague our nation.”
While I agree with Yoder that cutting spending should have been included in the bill, it’s incredible that Yoder thinks the majority of his Johnson County supporters really wanted to send the nation over the fiscal cliff. Plus, there were other good elements in the approved bill, that avoided making life harder for consumers and for unemployed people.
Yoder, in particular, keeps trying to sell himself as someone who’s not part of the automatic tea party vote in Washington. Yet, on one of the most important votes Congress has taken, he stood right alongside the destructive tea party crowd.
Fortunately, they lost.