Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash, said there were some good and bad things to the fiscal cliff bill passed by Congress Tuesday night, but he ultimately voted no.
“The biggest concern I have is that it really doesn’t address either our short-term or our long-term fiscal spending and tax issues,” said Smith on KING 5 Morning News Wednesday. “We’re going to be right back in this same situation two months from now, less than two months from now, facing devastating across-the-board cuts.”
Smith said the cuts facing defense, education, transportation and other areas are “mindless” because they have to be cut by the same amount.
Fellow Democrat Jim McDermott also broke ranks and voted no. Republican Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler voted yes.
Smith was also concerned that the debt ceiling issue wasn’t addressed, and he said there were too many of the Bush-era tax cuts locked into the package that could affect long-term fiscal health.
“Either we’re going to have unacceptably high deficits, or we’re going to face devastating cuts in programs that include not just the ones I mentioned, but also Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid,” said Smith.
When asked if the country should have gone over the fiscal cliff, Smith said all Congress did was push the cliff back 60 days in regards to spending. Smith said Congress is dealing with a “disconnect" in America.
“We have a consensus in the country that, basically, we want $2 in goods and services for every $1 in revenue we’re willing to pay, and we insist on a balanced budget. Well, that’s just not going to work. At some point, we have to make a choice. And all we did yesterday was, once again, kick the can down the curb in making that choice,” said Smith.