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Hultgren Defends Vote Against Fiscal Cliff Measure

Bill clears Congress, heads off crisis with expiration of Bush, Obama tax cuts, plus new taxes.

Congressional action late Tuesday night ended months of the nation teetering on the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff, a significant tax increase set to begin Jan. 1 with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and temporary tax cuts put through by President Barack Obama, as well as new taxes and automatic spending cuts.

Many feared that had Congress failed to address the issue, the tax increases and automatic spending cuts would have pushed the nation once again headlong into recession. Politico reported that the bipartisan solution was approved in a 257-167 vote by the U.S. House. U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-14th District, was one of those voting against the measure.

“The lack of spending cuts in this package is indefensible, which is why I voted against it,” Hultgren said in a release issued late Tuesday. “Washington, D.C. has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. This package fails to address that. In fact, it makes the $16 trillion debt and trillion-dollar deficit even worse.”

The measure “addresses several significant issues, including tax rates for families. It repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act. It includes an extension of parity for employer-provided transit benefits, which is something I’ve fought for repeatedly,” he said in the release. “Most importantly, it makes current tax rates permanent for individuals earning less than $400,000 and families earning less than $450,000. That must happen, but not in the absence of any effort to rein in spending.”

In October, Hultgren warned that inaction by lawmakers would set the stage for the largest tax increase in the nation’s history.

“I’ve already voted against raising taxes on all Americans, and I cannot support an irresponsible bill which doesn’t begin to address the problem that got us into this mess in the first place,” Hultgren said about the bill approved Tuesday.

Hultgren's 14th Congression District includes Geneva. His home office is located at 1797 W. State St., Suite A, in Geneva.

Matilda B January 02, 2013 at 06:25 PM
I am very diappointed in Hultgren. He shows a blatant disregard for the people he represents
Rudy January 02, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Randy is the only reasonable voice in the House of Representatives left! You don't fix a spending problem with more money! You need to STOP SPENDING!!! 3 years unemployement now? come on if you can't get a job within 3 months is time to find a new field of endeavor! It’s like saying you heal a crack addict by giving him more crack it’s ludicrous!
Rick Bouchard January 02, 2013 at 08:31 PM
"come on if you can't get a job within 3 months is time to find a new field of endeavor!" Rudy, with due respect, that is one of the most callously ridiculous statements that I have read in Patch. (And, there is an abundance of contenders on here, unfortunately.) Clearly, you have not suffered from unemployment during this recession or know someone who has. Three months, these days, would be a relatively short period of unemployment -- even for a highly skilled professional (e.g., engineer, scientist, etc.). You suggest also that workers unemployed for more than three months should seek employment in another field, which, inevitably, would require training in that other field. Again, you appear to be ignorant of reality: education and training cost big money, and such big money likely is not available to some who is unemployed and trying to feed his family or keep his dwelling warm! One might next counter that such a worker should take advantage of a government program to get some funding this training. Oh, wait: the tea-bagger Pigs, like Hultgren, have cut funding for that, too, in the name of fiscal austerity. Of course, fiscal austerity really means re-distributing wealth from the working class -- the people who actually did work to build the wealth -- to the undeserving elite (that refuses to offer employment) that bankrolls the political class of Pigs. Hultgren (and others like him) need to go! Too bad that his second term is only starting tomorrow.
Matilda B January 03, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Nicely said Rick. Hultgren may be starting his new term, but we should work to make it his last, and find other candidates who can be constructive and bipartisan.
Jack January 03, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Matilda, I agree with you. Hultgren has acted like a puppet on a string by the Norquist wackos since the day he took Office. All he does is whine. It is up to us to elect a true Statesman with an independent brain next election cycle.....
Rudy January 03, 2013 at 04:49 AM
Really don't any of you appreciate the fact he is trying to be a good steward of our financial future. Its our kids future at stake hes trying to be a prudent financial conservative why do you hate someone who looks at a problem and tries to solve it. The ONLY Solution is to CUT spending even most liberals will agree you can't spend your way out of debt. Stay strong Randy don't let the crazies get you down!
Martha Hanna January 03, 2013 at 01:35 PM
I am not crazy, and Randy you did let me down...but I knew you would vote against it. You certainly do not represent my views, just keep voting the way you do and you will be serving 1 term.
John R January 03, 2013 at 07:22 PM
The idea of someone putting up a primary challenge to Rep. Hultgren is a worthy discussion. We need to ask ourselves does Rep. Hultgrens positions reflect the 14th district? If they don't is there a Republican out there who more closely reflects the idea's and positions which we would like represented? Mr. Hultgren was sweep into power during the Tea Party wave of 2010. His campaign staff was very active at the 2010 Kane County Tea Party rally which was held at the Government Center. He also spoke at the St. Charles and Oswego rallies. He denies climate change science, opposes gun controls and apparently was more than happy to send us over the fiscal cliff. I've attended one of Rep. Hultgrens town hall meetings and I respect his openess and honesty. I liked that he fielded questions and gave straight forward answers. He makes no bones about his positions. But is he the right guy for the 14th District? Or are his views to extreme and should we be considering going in a different direction? Maybe he needs to modify some of his positions. Rice
Lou Pierce January 03, 2013 at 09:11 PM
"The ONLY Solution is to CUT spending even most liberals will agree you can't spend your way out of debt." [I guess you meant to end one sentence after "even" and begin a new sentence. Please take a couple of seconds to proof your own writing.] Rudy, as a matter of fact, I do believe that a country MUST spend its way out of debt. Right now, interest rates are the lowest they will be, and getting money into the hands of workers -- the people who will spend it and thereby give a giant boost to the economy -- is nothing more than Keynesian economics. That was what rescued the U.S. economy in the 30s, despite the best attempts of the right wingers to deep-six it. Even today's the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the U.K. admitted recently that P.M. Cameron's flirtation with austerity had failed. Even Germany will have to wake up and recognize that the only way to rescue Greece, and to a lesser extent, Spain, is to pump the work force with enough money to jump-start their economies. It the Tea Partiers hadn't been scaring themselves silly with illusions about Obama's citizenship, his religion and his so-called socialist-fascist leanings so they could take the time to think, they would realize this, too. Yet another thing we can blame on the Nazis is their mis-appropriate of the word "socialist" into the name of their party, allowing the Know-Nothings of the world to conflate the words fascism and socialism, when they actually go together as nicely as oil and water.
Lou Pierce January 03, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Martha and John, we had an alternative to Hultgren in this past election. Dennis Anderson was not my first choice to run against Hultgren, but he would have been a lot more helpful in the effort to work our way out of this mess. At least I can say, with pride I might add, that I didn't vote for Hultgren in either of his congressional campaigns.
Lou Pierce January 03, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Another word of advice, and this applies to me, too. When you proof you work, beware the temptation to change your wording without also proofing it. Obviously, I forgot to delete "the" from the title of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I meant to use the word "mis-appropriation." I apologize to anyone inconvienced by my over-sights.
Matilda B January 03, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Very nice discussion everyone. Republicans need to decide if the Tea Party is still the direction they want to go in. I think not, if we want our nation to heal. Democrats need to start looking for a candidate as well. And I hope both sides will look for candidates who can reach across the aisle. If you saw the pictures of Mark Kirk returning to Capital Hill today, You would have seen Joe Biden and Dick Durbin there to greet him and escort him in. We need more of this, not division.
Danny H January 04, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Umm....Mr. Hultgren just voted AGAINST cutting spending to the tune of about a trillion dollars. He had his chance and he blew it.
Mike January 04, 2013 at 06:17 AM
It really floors me that all these people that are so worried about debt now where silent when the biggest slacker(almost 900 days on vacation) George Bush was busy giving away the store! Under Bush government exploded, the rich got richer, the environment took it in the shorts, and after all that carnage all the same players who caused the largest financial train wreck this country's ever seen want to blame it on the best president we've ever had. It's Hultegrens of the world that vote for subsidies for big oil and screw the working man. When will people learn that "R" stands for reverse
John R January 04, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Matilda, The thing is the Republican party has decided and one of the things they have done in the house is to strip Tea Party leaning members of meaningful committee assignments. Rep Hultgren sat on three committee's in the 112th Congress (Agriculture, Science/Space/Technology and Transportation and Infrastructure). These were are not block buster committee's. The assignments for the 113th have not been announced yet. I think the three mentioned above were the same ones that Foster served on. Which is actually a better fit to Foster especially the committee on Science, Space and Technology. Him being a scientist and all. Anyways.....I don't know....It seems that Rep Hultgren is out of step with the conservative base of District 14. Not to say that we don't have a fair number of ultra conservatives and Tea Party leaning constituents but are they really reflective of our district???? It's really a shame because Republican core beliefs of smaller government, fiscal responsibility, individual rights, etc....are truly worthy values which must be a part of our nations dialog in repects to dealing with our current fiscal challenges. But the common sense conservatives seem to be getting drowned out. It's happening right here in Geneva. Sadly, the more resonable conservatives in our community have chosen silence on a number of fronts and issues. Out of characters, Rice
David January 04, 2013 at 10:49 PM
I am happy he voted against it. If you run your personal finances the same way you end up on the street.
David January 04, 2013 at 10:50 PM
How many of you keep a personal budget or run your own business.
Larry Bittner January 04, 2013 at 11:01 PM
How many of you are responsible for the safety and security of over 300 million people?
Matilda B January 04, 2013 at 11:58 PM
FYI- Hultgren voted against the Sandy Relief Bill. So does that mean that if we have a disaster in our area, he will not support our rebuilding? This guy is SO WRONG. We don't need this extremist mind set, it does not help the nation
David January 05, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Matilda B, when those other elected idiots in Washington stop cramming other legislation in the bills and start reading them in detail maybe then they can vote on it. A Sandy Relief Bill should be the only legislation in the bill and it would have passed with flying colors. These knuckleheads keeps spending more of our money on other crap, that we cant afford. He is one of the ones in Washington that gets it.
Matilda B January 05, 2013 at 01:23 PM
I have heard different stories on additions to the bill. If anything, it is the obstructionists who need the carrots to vote for bills that move us forward. I have also heard that Boehner wanted to stick it to Cantor, who was in favor of the bill. But in the bigger picture, obstructing relief has not happened prior to this. we need to help them rebuild their homes and businesses, rather than put another nail in the economy. I think David, you don't understand the ramifications
John R January 05, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Matilda, Wow your right I can't believe he voted against it. He was only one of 67 in the house and the only Illinois Rep to vote against the bill. Maybe he doesn't realize it but he just gave every individual who's ever suffered through a disaster, of one kind or another, the old symbolic middle finger. Just like Boehner did when he didn't bring it up for a vote on Tuesday. And yes it means that if we had a major disaster in our district he would vote against it.....On HIS principles. What a shame. I'm trying really hard to like the guy but I'm starting to feel like we don't really have much representation in the 14th district. He'll do his town hall meetings, during the next recess, but that's about it. Someone remind me why we're paying this guy a base salary of $174,000/yr plus a cadilac health care plan, travel perks, lot's of time off, etc.... This guy does nothing....A teacher bust there butts teaching for $39900 starting salary and their demonized. He's idolized. Makes no sense. He appears to out of step with his district, fellow colleague's from Illinois as well as about 368 other members of the house. In this day and age we need strong representation. He's going to get relegated to the Committee of building maintenance. We have no voice. Head shaking
Mitotero January 05, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Hultgren has also repeated misrepresentations about ACA, even after they were completely debunked. At a Sycamore town hall meeting, he claimed that he voted for an ACA replacement bill the day after he voted to dismantle ACA. It is very unfortunate that he was reelected, and I hope our district is better informed two years from now. I can usually decide which side of an issue to support by picking the opposite position of Hultgren.
John R January 05, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Former Republican Sen. Al D’Amato ripped the 67 that voted against the bill. He calls them a bunch of jackasses. That's probably fitting. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/bunch-jackasses-amato-rips-sandy-voters-article-1.1233569 Mitotero, you should send Rick Nagle your list of questions for the school board canidates. I think he is compiling a list to pose to all of them at a future date and I seem to recall that you had a bunch of good questions.
Power to the People January 06, 2013 at 03:54 AM
David, you are correct. Mr. Hultgren has the utmost integrity and voting No was the right thing to do. This fiscal cliff bill was nothing other than a typical Obama and his clan "spending bill laced with earmarks." This tax bill gives Nascar party favors,Hollywood tax breaks and incentives,59 million to algae growers and millions to rum producers. Which adds 3.9 trillion to the deficit. And it hits the middle class workers income proportionately more than those earning $200,000-$500,000. It will affect the $30,000-$200,000 salary range thus, shrinking their income by 1.7% or $1,784.00. As Obama enjoys his vacation in Hawaii at a cost of 20 million to us taxpayers. And don't forget he has signed his executive order for all government workers to be granted a raise. And I have heard Obama is not done with raising taxes. Great job Mr. Hultgren.
Tom Brown January 06, 2013 at 04:27 PM
You can't fix the whole economy with one vote. There are lots of other fiscal deadlines ahead this year. This is a remarkably good package and makes better sense than I dreamed we were capable of passing. It is my hope that we can continue and trim the budget without undo hardship. It seems as if there is a lot of fat in the federal budget and it should be possible. I have high hopes that Congress can finally get it together. Would be the best thing for the economy and the country. We can't spend half the budget on interest. We're going to have the IMF after us soon if we don't turn this around a bit. The good part about high debt is that it keeps the dollar low so we can compete on exports, but it's a high price to pay.
Tom Brown January 06, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Larry: How many members of Congress are responsible at all?
Jason January 07, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Thank you Congressman. Please continue to vote with your conscience and understanding of the root-problem.
Ken S January 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM
If the democratically controlled senate had sent a bill to the house with sandy relief alone it would have passed unanimously. However, both parties pile on pork that would never pass on its own. I would like to see the line item veto allowed for the president. With the intense media scrutiny today, albeit mostly left leaning, junk like this would have a hard time getting through the system. I support Randy and will continue to support him until he caves into the system and compromises his principles. I think he does represent the district well.
Lou Pierce January 07, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Ken, I hope you're comfortable in your bubble. The line-item veto is an interesting issue, worthy of lengthy debate. However, beware of blindly believing right-wing shibboleths such as describing the various news media as being "mostly left leaning." It doesn't take much investigating to discover that the vast majority of the news media are concentrated in the hands of just a few right wingers or multi-national corporations. Also, I think if you honestly assess the situation, you'll see that Randy Hultgren represents well only far right interests including, but not limited to, the Tea Party. While those interests are present in the new 14th Congressional District, there is an increasing percentage of us far- or center-lefties who can't depend on him to do more than file our pleas for his support in the nearest waste basket.

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