EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 2, 2013

Mass., N.H. senators united on fiscal deal

The senators from Massachusetts and New Hampshire voted for the “fiscal cliff” deal that passed overwhelmingly early yesterday, 89-8.

“Just voted for the fiscal cliff bill,” Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, posted on Facebook after his vote New Year’s Day.

“Not the full answer but a small step forward. A lot of work next session. Good luck,” wrote Brown, who lost his seat to Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

It wasn’t even the final answer, let alone the full answer, as the Republican-controlled House considered a response.

Congressman Frank Guinta, R-N.H., appeared on the fence during the day, himself taking to Facebook to ask constituents: “When the bill comes to the House for a vote, how would you like me to vote?”

Guinta had 227 responses before 7 p.m. last night, with most respondents urging a “no” vote.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State, voted for the deal, as did Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

Meanwhile, two Republican senators who could be headed to the 2016 presidential campaign trail and the New Hampshire Primary opposed and criticized the deal: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

“Sending more taxpayer dollars to Washington isn’t the solution to this situation; cutting wasteful government spending and enabling Americans to keep more of their own money is,” Paul, son of Congressman and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas, said in a statement issued before the Senate’s vote.

Rubio said the deal didn’t solve the nation’s debt problem and would hurt small business.

“Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control,” Rubio said.

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