Mid-South Congressional Delegation Polarized on Fiscal Cliff

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(Memphis) The US is no longer over the fiscal cliff after Congress approved a bill late Tuesday night.

That bill will now go to the President to be signed into law.

Congress looks more fractured than ever with some Republicans voting with Democrats to approve the bill while others voted against it.

But here in the Mid-South there was no cross over.

There are four Republicans in the Mid-South`s Congressional delegation and two Democrats. 

All Republicans voted together against a bill that would address the fiscal cliff while the two Democrats voted for the bill raising income taxes on those making over $450,000 and keep tax rates the same for all those earning less.

Just before the vote, Congressman Steve Cohen, who is a Democrat, took the stand in the House of Representatives to show his support.

“The only issue is my colleagues on the other side, the Republicans in the House who seem to continue to want to give tax relief to the upper two percent.  That’s what divides this nation and this Congress right now,” said Cohen.

Republicans like Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn say the tax hike on those making over $450,000 doesn`t just impact the rich, but also business owners and employers. 

“This bill only makes the situation worse. It imposes job-killing tax hikes, does nothing to restrain spending, adds to our annual deficit, and increases our debt by nearly $4 trillion over the next decade,” said Blackburn.

Republican Representative Rick Crawford from Northeast Arkansas also called the bill a job killer.

“The only way we can truly avoid going over any fiscal cliff is by making fundamental and permanent reforms to end Washington`s spending addiction,” said Crawford.

WREG’s political commentator Otis Sanford says the Mid-South Delegation is so polarized because Republicans in congress are very conservative while the Democrats are very liberal and not likely to cross over.  

He says the US Senate Delegation from the Mid-South is much more moderate, and that was seen when Tennessee’s two Republican Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander crossed over to vote with Democrats approving the fiscal cliff bill. 

Despite this bill being triumphed for keeping income taxes for the middle class the same, the Tax Policy Center in Washington says the bill will actually raise taxes for almost 80% of American’s because payroll taxes will go up.