8 Senators Rejected Cliff Deal
3 Democrats, 5 Republicans said no to bipartisan plan
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2013 6:40 AM CST
Updated Jan 1, 2013 7:55 AM CST
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) talks to reporters about the fiscal cliff.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – A deal to neutralize the fiscal cliff cruised through the Senate 89-8 in a late-night session and is headed for the House, whose session today begins at noon. The deal contains the first federal income tax hike in nearly 20 years, but the eight refuseniks weren't all Republicans, the Hill reports. Three Democrats joined five Republicans in rejecting the bill, including Iowa's Tom Harkin, who argued that the bill hammered out by Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell benefited the richest Americans at the expense of the poorest.

"Maybe now we are all believers of trickle-down economics. Not I," Harkin said. The other Democrats voting no were Tom Carper of Delaware and Michael Bennet of Colorado, while Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Richard Shelby of Alabama said no from the GOP side. The delay in approving the bill means the US has technically already sailed over the cliff, but the impact should be minimal if it clears the House quickly enough, the Wall Street Journal notes.

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Jan 2, 2013 8:19 AM CST
It is time to start beating the drums loudly for TERM LIMITS.
Jan 1, 2013 3:27 PM CST
What drama queens those old farts in Washington are. Soon, they will be on TV bragging about how well they did, referring to each other as "my fine friend and collegue, the disginguished gentleman from New York", patting themselves on the back and praising each other until you get sick to your stomach. All that while today on the floor, they are debating whether or not to raise Congress base pay. Of course they take care of themselves first.
Jan 1, 2013 2:17 PM CST
From Sen. Bernie Sanders, written in August, 2012. At this pivotal moment in American history, it's important to note how we got into this deficit crisis, who was responsible and what is the fairest way to address it. Let us never forget that when Bill Clinton left office in 2001, this country enjoyed a healthy $236 billion SURPLUS. Under George W. Bush and his fellow "deficit hawks," we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush and Congress "forgot" to pay for those wars that will end up adding some $3 trillion to our national debt. Where were Paul Ryan and the other "deficit hawks" when we spent trillions on wars and added to the deficit? They voted for those policies. Under George W. Bush and his fellow "deficit hawks," we gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country, which cost $1 trillion over a decade. Where were Paul Ryan and the other "deficit hawks" when Bush and Congress spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for the very rich and added to our national debt? They voted for those policies. Under George W. Bush and his fellow deficit hawks, Congress passed an overly expensive Medicare prescription drug program written by the insurance companies and drug industry. The government was barred from negotiating lower drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry under the program, which will end up adding $400 billion to our national debt over a 10-year period. Where were Paul Ryan and the other "deficit hawks" when Bush and Congress spent $400 billion for a much too expensive prescription drug program? They voted for those policies. Now, having run up huge deficits, our born-again "deficit hawks" want to cut every program in sight to save money. In order to cover the costs they incurred in Iraq and Afghanistan, they want to cut Social Security. In order to cover the costs of the tax breaks for the rich, they want to cut Medicare and Medicaid. In order to cover the insurance-company-written Medicare prescription drug program, they want to cut education and food stamps. This approach - balancing the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor - is not only immoral, it is bad economic policy. It is something that must be vigorously opposed. The $16 trillion national debt and the current $1 trillion deficit are serious problems, but they must be addressed in a fair way that will not cripple our economy, lead to the loss of jobs and punish people who are already hurting. At a time when the wealthiest people in this country are doing phenomenally well and when their effective tax rate is the lowest in decades, the richest people in this country have got to be asked to pay their fair share of taxes. At a time when corporate profits are soaring and when about one in four major profitable corporations pays nothing in federal income taxes, we must end corporate loopholes and demand that corporate America starts paying its fair share of taxes. At a time when this country loses $100 billion every single year because wealthy people and corporations stash money in tax havens in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere, we must crack down on abusive tax cheats. The United States military budget has virtually tripled since 1997, and we now spend nearly as much as the rest of the world combined. It is time to take a hard look at military spending.