Tennessee GOP senators, reps at odds over fiscal cliff vote

Tennessee GOP senators, representatives at odds over fiscal cliff vote

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Rep. Chuck Fleischmann - (R) 3rd Dist. (source: U.S. House of Representatives) Rep. Chuck Fleischmann - (R) 3rd Dist. (source: U.S. House of Representatives)
Rep. Phil Roe - (R) 1st Dist. (source: U.S. House of Representatives) Rep. Phil Roe - (R) 1st Dist. (source: U.S. House of Representatives)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) - Nearly 24 hours past its own New Year's deadline, Congress agreed on legislation to avoid a national "fiscal cliff" that would have raised taxes for middle class Americans and trigger across-the-board spending cuts.

The vote showed a split between Tennessee's representation in Washington. Republican senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander voted with the 89-8 majority on the bill.

The measure divided House Republicans, including their leaders, but not those from Tennessee.

The House voted 257-167 in favor of the bill just before midnight Wednesday, but the only vote for the bill from Tennessee's House delegation came Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen (9th Dist.). Rep. Jim Cooper (5th Dist.), also a Democrat, joined all of Tennessee Republicans in voting against the bipartisan agreement.

Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party's 2012 vice presidential candidate, supported the bill. Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the party's whip, voted against it.

The members of Congress who voted against the measure complained that it fell short of making spending cuts to reduce federal deficits.

"Unfortunately the Senate waited until the final days of the year to look at any solutions," Rep. Fleischmann (3rd Dist.) was quoted in a statement released after the vote. "What they produced does nothing more than kick the can down the road on the most serious issue facing our nation."

"While I am glad to see hardworking Americans will get much-needed permanent tax relief, I could not, in good faith, support legislation that does not address our spending problem," Rep. Phil Roe (1st Dist.) said in his statement.

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