The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to help avert the “fiscal cliff” late Tuesday night that includes extending Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. But for most of Utah’s Congressional delegation the deal wasn’t good enough to earn their support.
The deal reached in Congress provides tax relief for the middle class by extending the Bush-era income tax cuts for individuals who make less than 400 thousand dollars. But it’s what the deal doesn’t do that has most of Utah’s Congressional delegation upset. Democratic Representative Jim Matheson joined his Republican colleagues Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop in voting against the measure. He says the bill didn’t do enough to cut spending.
“The best opportunity is when everything is on the table," he says. "And the fact that some issues are dealt with in this bill and others weren’t, I think, reduces the opportunity for the ultimate grand bargain that most of us would like to see happen.”
The only member of Utah’s congressional delegation to support the bill was Senator Orrin Hatch. On Wednesday, Hatch wasn’t available for an interview, but he said in a statement he reluctantly supported the measure to make sure most Utahns wouldn’t see a tax hike. Utah’s junior Senator, Republican Mike Lee, was much less positive about the fiscal cliff deal. He tweeted this morning that everything about it was a failure.