ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Shortly after the ball dropped in Times Square and 2013 arrived in Washington, the U.S. Senate completed the first step in passing a deal to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, voting 89-9 in favor. Among those in favor were both senators from Missouri. The House is expected to convene this afternoon for a vote on the bill.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) issued a statement shortly after Senate passage early this morning, admitting the deal “isn’t perfect” but saying “it achieves what’s most important here by protecting middle class families, and it’s a down-payment toward a more realistic economic policy.”
“It also represents a fact that too many in Washington seem to have forgotten-that compromise requires give-and-take. That’s a value Missouri voters strongly endorsed just a few weeks ago. Starting now, Congress has got to do better,” she said.
McCaskill went on to criticize Congress for “these eleventh-hour stalemates” which “endanger our economy,” echoing sentiments by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) Monday. Graham said that the Senate “doesn’t function anymore” and that it’s a place where ideas go to die.
McCaskill also praised a portion of the bill which prevents a pay raise for members of Congress. She tweeted Monday night “Good news. In deal we will STOP any pay increases for Congress. Thank goodness. Good reason to vote for it.” In her statement a few hours later, she said stopping the pay raise has been a longtime goal of hers.
While he didn’t issue a full statement, Missouri’s junior Senator Roy Blunt took to Twitter as well early Tuesday. After the Senate vote, the Republican said “I’m glad this vote protects middle class families & smallbiz owners from tax hikes.”
“This bill permanently protects 99% of taxpayers from a tax increase & provides permanent tax relief & economic certainty for every American,” another tweet read. “This bill also ensures the vast majority of farm families & small businesses in Missouri will not face the unfair death tax.”
As for Illinois’ delegates, Sen. Dick Durbin voted in favor of the compromise and Sen. Kirk missed the vote as he recovers from a stroke.