WASHINGTON DC - Four members of Illinois’ GOP Congressional delegation voted against the highly-criticized compromise American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 - rejecting the legislation’s tax increase for those making $400,000 and above, as well as its lack of spending cuts, while reinstating the vast majority of the Bush tax cuts.
Two of those voting against the measure were fiscal hawks Joe Walsh and Bob Schilling, who will not be returning to the next session. The other two are Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam (IL-6). Hultgren was returned by his far western suburban constituents for a second term and Roskam, who is a key member of House Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team, pointed to the Obama Administration’s lack of spending cuts as a key objection.
Time will tell what price Roskam will pay - if any - for not lining up with Boehner’s faithful. After the November election, four outspoken key conservatives lost their committee chairmenships for criticizing the loss of Republican House seats in the November election.
During the budget talks leading up to the January 1, 2013 vote, Roskam persistently said on TV new shows that the issue was spending, not raising revenue. He published this chart on his Facebook page-
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Majority Leader Eric Cantor also voted against HR 8.
Seven others of the Republican delegation did line up with Boehner’s wishes and supported the compromise bill. They include Judy Biggert, Bob Dold, Tim Johnson, Adam Kinzinger, Don Manzullo, Aaron Schock and John Shimkus.
Schock, who’s considering a 2014 bid for governor, issued an explanation for his vote.
“The discussions in Washington have unfairly centered on increasing federal revenue through higher taxes on the backs of hardworking Americans and small businesses, when the focus should be squarely on the unhinged spending spree the current Administration seems content with continuing for the next four years,” he said. “ Now that we have permanently cemented middle-class tax relief, Congress and the White House must address the larger issues of out-of-control spending and reversing the historic record debt and yearly deficits under President Obama. Presidential leadership, which has been lacking the last four years, is a necessary requirement to getting meaningful bipartisan legislation passed and signed into law.
Schock went on to push tax reform:
“As a member of the House Ways and Means committee, the chief tax writing committee in the House, we will lead the effort for comprehensive and fundamental tax reform in the 113th Congress. In the last two years, the committee held 30 hearings on the need for individual and corporate tax reform, which has laid the foundation for crafting and passing legislation in the new Congress. As we begin the 113th Congress, now is the time to finish the job and create a simpler and fairer tax code that doesn’t penalize hard work, provides additional middle-class tax relief and promotes economic growth and job creation.”
American for Tax Reform Chairman Grover Norquist tweeted that all those that voted for the bill technically voted for a tax cut from the rates that went into effect January 1st, and all Congress members that supported the HR 8 had voted in according with their ATR anti-tax pledge.