Early this morning, 89 senators voted for a fiscal cliff deal brokered between Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Democratic Sen. Tom Carper was not one of those senators.
"The purpose of this so-called 'fiscal cliff' was to force our hand to come up with a grand bargain to get our nation's fiscal house in order and make the tough decisions that we, as legislators, are expected to make," the Delaware Senator said in a statement today. "Unfortunately, the deal the Senate passed this morning is not the grand bargain that I, and many of us, had hoped for, and that's why I ultimately voted against it."
Carper said he wanted to see entitlement reforms to preserve programs and find ways to significantly increase revenue. "In this deal, we did neither. When push came to shove, we walked away from entitlement and meaningful tax reform, at least for now." Carper cited former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's saying of "Never waste a good crisis," adding "I'm afraid that we've just wasted a doozie at a time when our President's bargaining power was at its zenith."
Others who voted no on the deal include Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and Tom Harkin, who said on the Senate floor Monday that he didn't agree with raising taxes on those making $450,000 a year rather than $250,000, saying it was "grossly unfair" and "a tough pill to swallow."
Republicans who voted no include Sens. Chuck Grassley, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Richard Shelby.