Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) released the following statement tonight after voting to protect middle-class families from an increase in income tax rates, and to temporarily delay the effect of indiscriminate cuts to domestic programs and defense spending:
"This evening I voted in favor of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that received strong bipartisan support in the Senate last night. Like many of my colleagues, I would have preferred to vote on a comprehensive bill that keeps taxes low for the middle class, extends unemployment insurance and other programs that help those who are still struggling, and addresses our debt and deficit in a balanced way. This bill does some of those things, although it falls far short in other areas.
"The bill does preserve hard-earned Medicare and Social Security benefits for seniors, and it temporarily halts across-the-board cuts to social programs and defense spending that would have hampered our economic growth. It extends unemployment benefits, the production tax credit for renewable energy, and provides relief for underwater homeowners who have renegotiated a mortgage.
"This bill is not perfect, but it is the result of negotiation and compromise among Congress, the Administration, and the two political parties. These are virtues that all Members of Congress should aspire to, and I sincerely hope that it represents the opening of a new chapter after one of the most inefficient and divisive sessions of Congress in memory.
"We have much work left to do in the new year, but this compromise that saves the lower- and middle-income families from a massive tax increase is a good start. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to address the impending debt ceiling and sequestration challenges as we begin the 113th Congress."