Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, was one of eight senators to vote against the fiscal cliff agreement early today.
The state's other U.S. senator, Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, voted for the deal.
The bill passed 89-8 and goes to the U.S. House for a vote.
“I do not support this agreement," Shelby said in a statement. "Our economy needs spending restraint by the federal government and fundamental tax reform that eliminates corporate welfare and lowers individuals' rates.
"Instead, this package raises taxes, increases spending, and will lead to more borrowing. This deal is certainly no cure-all; rather, it falls far short of the measures necessary to promote job creation, economic growth, and fiscal stability.”
The measure would prevent middle-class taxes from going up but would raise rates on higher incomes. It would also block spending cuts for two months, extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevent a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and prevent a spike in milk prices.
A statement from Sessions read: “This legislation is necessary to prevent a large and painful tax increase from falling on the vast majority of Americans. Its enactment will end a long period of uncertainty that would weaken or even reverse economic growth. Now, it is important that we place our focus directly on the real cause of our nation’s looming debt crisis: the continued surge in spending.”
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