First Read
Your first stop for politics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Virginia Democrats Differ Over Fiscal Cliff

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Two Democratic congressmen from Virginia disagree on the law that avoided the fiscal cliff. News4's David Culver reports.

    Looming aspects of the fiscal cliff legislation -- like sequestration -- have a major impact on Virginia, and lawmakers in the same party there can't agree on the best actions to take.

    Normally, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th District) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th District) vote the same way on big issues, but on the fiscal cliff, the northern Virginia politicians don’t agree.

    Connolly was the only Virginia congressman to vote for the legislation that avoided the fiscal cliff.

    "This was not a very solution-oriented Congress, but this was a solution on the last day of the last session, and I felt that was the right vote," he said.

    Connolly concedes the bill he voted for is far from perfect.

    "I called it a hold your nose kind of vote, but to me it was absolutely necessary if we're going to try and find common ground and move this country forward," he said.

    "I have great respect for Gerry Connolly,” Moran said. “We're close friends, so I'm not going to second-guess his vote. I simply voted the way I saw it, which was that this was a bad deal all around."

    Moran, who voted against the legislation like most House Republicans, said we’re just pushing off sequestration -- the across-the-board cuts to all federal agencies that could cripple northern Virginia's economy.

    Connolly also is focused on sequestration, but for the immediate future, he said, some good will come from his vote.

    "Had the no votes prevailed, today we'd be over the fiscal cliff and every one of our constituents would have seen a substantial tax increase," he said.

    Neither congressman is expecting much to change in the 113th Congress, and the issue of sequestration has only been delayed two months.

    "All we've done is kicked the can down the road and just a short distance, two months, and then we're going to have another fiscal cliff," Moran said.

    The average family income in Fairfax County is $120,000, according to the Associated Press. That family can expect to pay more than $1,700 more in taxes this year.