Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rep. Schweikert Believes Fiscal Cliff Pullback Measure Is Step In The Wrong Direction

Earlier, Arizona's Politics posted Arizona Rep. David Schweikert's CNN interview from last night and his statement about the measure that passed the House of Representatives without his vote (nor the votes of Arizona's other four GOP members).  He focused on the unbalanced nature of the deal and the spending nature of it.  We contacted Schweikert's office to get more details; he believes that this was not a "stopgap" or a "first step", but actually "a step in the wrong direction".

Since most news coverage has focused on the portion regarding the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, Arizona's Politics decided to dig a bit deeper.  In addition to publishing the Table of Contents to the actual bill in the initial post, we posted  the analysis of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and contacted Congressman Schweikert's office.

The CBO analysis does indeed give more details on how much the spending side was impacted, with an increase of $50 Billion this year ($332B over 10 years) over what was planned to be spent.  Much of that is short term increased spending on preventing cuts to physicians for Medicare payments and extending unemployment benefits. (What is still unclear to Arizona's Politics and needs further digging is how much revenue was raised in the pullback deal by allowing temporary Bush-era tax cuts to expire on those earning over $400,000/450,000, as well as other revenue increases.)

Schweikert's spokesperson, Rachel Semmel, declined to say - without checking with the Congressman first - which of the spending measures in yesterday's bill he would vote against on an individual basis.  However, taken as a whole, she noted that this "did nothng to solve our debt crisis."  When asked whether Schweikert thought that it was at least a first step, or even a stopgap measure, she stated that he would not and that "David would say it is a step in the wrong direction."  He believes that the deal should have been "addressing spending and curbing entitlement spending", the real problems.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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