On Fiscal Cliff Vote, House GOP Leaders Split

Boehner, Paul Ryan voted aye, as Cantor, McCarthy rejected deal

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 2, 2013 3:10 AM CST

(Newser) – The bill to avoid the fiscal cliff ended up clearing the House with more than enough Republican votes, but the vote split GOP leaders. Speaker John Boehner cast his "yes" as soon as voting began, but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and Chief Deputy Whip Pete Roskam saved their "no" votes until the measure already had enough votes to pass, the Hill reports. Some 151 Republicans voted against the deal, while 85 voted in favor.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan surprised his colleagues by voting aye. In a statement, he said his concerns over the consequences of inaction outweighed his opposition to parts of the bill. "The American people chose divided government. As elected officials, we have a duty to apply our principles to the realities of governing," he said. "But the question remains: Will the American people be better off if this law passes relative to the alternative? In the final analysis, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I came to Congress to make tough decisions—not to run away from them."

Speaker of the House John Boehner, center right, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, center left, walk down stairs to a Republican conference meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff bill.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, center right, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, center left, walk down stairs to a Republican conference meeting to discuss the "fiscal cliff" bill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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We got the right result tonight, and that is we got a tax cut for 99% of the American people. I'm not in leadership so I'll let them sort their own problems out. - House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.)

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