Iowa GOP Chair A.J. Spiker spoke for many conservative Republicans yesterday when he urged members of Congress to vote against the “ill-advised” deal to avoid tax increases. “The so called “Fiscal Cliff Deal” will only hurt middle class families, continue out of control government spending and fails to address the $16.5 Trillion Federal deficit [sic],” Spiker said in a statement.
Republicans Tom Latham (IA-04, IA-03 in the new Congress) and Steve King (IA-05, IA-04 in the new Congress) voted against this bill. So did likely 2016 presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate. However, in a surprising move to me, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan voted for the deal. I figured Ryan would end up with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and most other House Republicans, who objected to the lack of spending cuts. Ryan later told reporters, “I am not afraid of anything, I think it needed to pass. […] I wanted to stop a big tax increase.”
Any comments on the long-term political implications of yesterday’s votes are welcome in this thread. Rubio has already warned that the deal will hurt small businesses and future economic growth. He is wrong about the impact on small businesses, but economic growth probably will be weak during the next few years, which will vindicate his views in the eyes of conservatives.
UPDATE: A few more House Republicans who voted no may run for president in 2016 or 2020: Mike Pence, just elected governor of Indiana; Tim Scott, just appointed U.S. senator to replace Jim DeMint of South Carolina; Jeff Flake, just elected U.S. senator from Arizona.