Senators with eye on 2016 vote against cliff deal
January 1st, 2013
08:04 AM ET
10 years ago

Senators with eye on 2016 vote against cliff deal

(CNN) - After months of uncertainly, the U.S. Senate passed a last-minute deal Tuesday to avert the year-end fiscal cliff. The measure passed overwhelmingly 89-8. So which senators said no? Here's a list:


- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, told Wolf Blitzer Monday he didn't like the measure since it meant Congress was "kicking the can down the road and we aren't really addressing the real crisis in our country." The tea party favorite has not ruled out a run for president in 2016.

- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is another potential candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Like Paul, Rubio won his election in 2010 with backing from the tea party.

On Monday night he wrote on Twitter:


And on Tuesday, he released a statement explaining that while he "appreciated" Sen. McConnell's work in negotiating a deal, he couldn't support the arrangement since it "does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control."

"This deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can't find the work they need," Rubio wrote.

- Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, another tea party favorite elected to the Senate in 2010. He wrote Monday:


- Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voted against the deal. On Sunday he wrote on Twitter that President Obama was breaking campaign promises with his proposals:


- Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, released a statement after the vote explaining his opposition.

"I do not support this agreement. 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."


- Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told CNN Monday that he and other progressives were furious about any suggestion of raising the household income threshold to $450,000 for tax cut extensions. President Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to raise rates on households making more than $250,000 a year.

- Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, is the incoming chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the group tasked with electing Democrats to the upper chamber. He created his own plan to avert the fiscal cliff in November alongside Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander (who voted for the compromise measure early Tuesday).

He wrote in a statement Tuesday: "Washington once again has lived up to its reputation as the ‘Land of Flickering Lights.’ For four years in my townhall meetings across the state Coloradans have told me they want a plan that materially reduces the deficit. This proposal does not meet that standard and does not put in place a real process to reduce the debt down the road."

- Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Delaware, wrote in November he favored a solution modeled after the Simpson-Bowles proposals that included "comprehensive tax reform that eliminates loopholes and lowers tax rates for families and small businesses."

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Senate
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Sl

    Rand Paul and Rubio can kiss their chances at a 2016 GOP nomination goodbye. The USA dislikes the tea party and congress. People who cannot work in a bipartisan fashion to get the job done should be voted out. If the GOP wants a candidate with broad appeal, they should get rid of boring middle aged men and born again nut jobs and go with Susana Martinez, the gov of NM. There is something incredibally sleazy about Rubio. I really dislike him.

    January 1, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  2. DocHollywood

    Rubio and Paul will do absolutely nothing to hurt their chance at the big chair. These guys crave power over the welfare of the US. Which shows they should never get elected to the presidency.

    January 1, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  3. Mike Texoma

    Marcio Rubio is gambling that people will not remember, when he comes up for reelection, and I expect any hope of a presidential run for him went in the dumpster.

    January 1, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  4. Mitchell

    Worthless congress. You can't even do the job we sent to Washington to do. I am done voting for any you.

    January 1, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  5. ST

    Who does want to hear from Marco Rubio and Rand Paul again? We all understand: "A friend in need is the friend indeed". We needed them to stand for us to avoid going over the cliff, BUT they have said/voted NO. How can they come to us with a straight face and ask for our votes at any time? The answer will be: Please go away!

    January 1, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  6. Norma Vessels

    Look, you eight ' I want it all, or nothing' bunch of selfish people .. be glad for what is in the Bill. Be glad that
    the whole nation won't have to suffer another recession ..,. just because you didn't get all you wanted, so you
    would rather take your bat and go home. You have no sympathy from me! I hope every one of you lose your
    seat by 2016!

    January 1, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Anonymous

    "Senators with eye on 2016 vote against ... blah, blah, blah."

    Yeah, because Grassely, Shelby, Lee, Harkin, Carper, and Bennett are 2016 presidential material, eh, CNN? But hey, great way to highlight Rubio and Rand. And, yeah, we also know that not one of these Senators will be nominated for anything in 2016. Kinda like that fiscal cliff hoopla we've been hearing so much about lately. A whole lot of hype; no real substance.

    January 1, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. Jules

    Great – let's do what is in the best interest of my political career instead of what's best for the country.

    January 1, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. Rapunzell

    Regarding the fiscal cliff bill just passed by the Senate, the terms of this bill are absurd as it does nothing to reduce spending and it only harms the economy. 

    I am thoroughly disgusted with Obama's arrogance, and apparent ignorance of basic economics. Surely there are Democrats with greater knowledge and intelligence who can be persuaded to vote for a logical solution instead of being mere puppets to Obama. 

    Please use your influence to encourage those Democrats to vote for a real solution to help our country recover from this economic crises instead of putting the final "nail in the coffin."

    January 1, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Trey in Texas

    The US "credit card" was maxed out and over the limit with the funding of two wars. More debt added to help get the US through the recession. The revenue is needed to pay down the debt. We can cut spending, but it will hurt somebody along the way, Getting rid of wasteful spending is one of the first thing that needs to go along with programs that are no longer needed, It will take time to get this done, but with Congress dragging their feet through the mud with very little accomplishments, it will take a long time to put a dent in the debt crisis.

    January 1, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    The deal is a bad one. The downward spiral will continue for America.

    January 1, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. CarolO

    The debt reduction will be laid out when the fiscal cliff talks began. Maybe if the Republicans ever wanted cuts to anything but social security, medicare or veterans benefits it would help. Like defense spending, less aid to other countries, subsidies to big oil, etc.

    January 1, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. Martha in CF

    The 8 that voted NO-you have 4 years to get this together. Congress especially the House has done nothing but whine and carry on like a bunch of babies. The value of our country is at stake. The redumblicans campaigned in 2010 on JOBS and nothing has been done-but America back to work–create jobs like FDR did and then more taxes will be collected through these jobs. Losers-they are nothing but losers, whiners, complainers. Maybe the American people should retaliate against the pay, pension, healthcare that these guys get--they do nothing, therefore reduce what Congress gets-that would save ALOT of money...

    January 1, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. b.kuzak

    The house extremists could still stage a burning of the reichstag to punish a nation that voted in the president

    January 1, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  15. Peace

    The only medicine to these boneheads who voted NO is to let the young generation get involved in all elections. It should not be only the General Election, it should also be the mid-term as well to let what they voted for during the main election is implemented. I can assure you, they will sweep out these greedy people.

    January 1, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Mimic me

    It's sad that the governing body of the U.S. can't put differences aside and work for the good of the country going forward. It mimics children in school who can't get pass being mad at one another on the playground to do well on their group project in the classroom. What's left? A fiscal cliff today, my home tomorrow- because as much as I'd like to cut "my household budget," I can't. The items we're purchasing are increasing in cost; yet my paycheck remains the same. Oh wait, more tax obligations for the middle class will deplete it even more. Should I cheer for the rich to keep their tax breaks? We all must work together.

    January 1, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Sam Adams

    Idiot Progressive Liberals will be the first to starve to death when we go down in flames since you can not take care of yourselves always needing the Givernment to wipe for you. Paul and Rubion should leave the Republican party because that party is now in pander mode to all the takers. They should go Libertarian that is the only hope this country has but I fear it is definitely too late since the majority is now takers

    January 1, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. Larry L

    Nothing is more sleazy than a politician voting against a bill that is certain to pass so he can use that vote for his political advantage later. It's especially dishonorable for those who have done nothing but campaign and filibuster for the past four years.

    January 1, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. Larry L

    @Rick McDaniel

    The deal is a bad one. The downward spiral will continue for America.
    ================================================================================================ During the negotiations Republicans only bargained for the interests of the wealthy. They fought against Social Security, healthcare, and those programs most likely to help the poor and middle class.

    Since Republicans with two wars, no regulation of the financial district, and a cut & spend economy caused the "downward spiral" why would you suppose the same programs would fix it?

    January 1, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. John Stauffer

    This agreement did nothing to cut spending and reduce the debt. These politicians are a joke. Thank you to the 8 senators who know the agreement is worthless. Our children will pay for this. Obama is out to level the playing field to the point that everyone is dependent on the government. He knows what he is doing and our idiot elected officials are playing along.

    January 1, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Squigman

    Do Your Job. Represent the people, not your own interest. That's what you were hired to do. Now do it.

    January 1, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. LYN.

    Paul and Rubio and there Tea party Junkies are the problem we have in America.These two idiots want to sure up there base, But forget completely about the American people.
    Talk about want to be President, None of them will ever see inside of the White House,If they want to be President they better start doing something for the people and stop being obstructionist thats about the only thing they do well.

    January 1, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Belinda Higgins

    What a fiasco. To hear any of these Congressmen/Senators complain that they didn't get what they wanted only emphasizes their disfunctionality and selfishness. All have known for a year and a half that this "cliff" was on the horizon yet they sat and argued for more anti-abortion legislation. The so-called conservative Christians are another hypocritical story. Insisting on letting unemployment benefits expire, wanting to cut benefits to the working poor does not reflect any "Christian" values from my Holy Bible. Who was it that said, "A country will be judged by the way it treats its least fortunate"...i.e. the elderly and young children?
    Also, how many billions of dollars could be saved by immediately ending the war in Afghanistan? It's time to begin the "nation building" here at home.

    January 1, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. KBNJ

    Kudos to these brave Senators – and particularly to Michael Bennet, D-Colorado and Thomas Carper, D-Delaware for standing up for what's right, sane and moral despite their party's reckless "class war is more important than saving our kids' well being" stance.

    January 1, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Neutral Observer

    Whether tax break xyz happens or not, whether tax increase abc happens or not is all just a distraction from the real problem. The tax breaks/increases will do nothing significant to reduce the debt and the debt is the real problem. I recently heard that currently each citizen would have to pay $50,000.00 to pay off the debt! We as americans have known no downside to deficit spending and therefore we are not going to stop. Even the vernacular has changed to accomodate this. If the govt does not take our money, that's considered a payout to us! Consider I put a gun to your head and say give me all your money. Then I say wait, instead of taking it all, I leave you with 5 dollars. Oh, by the way, you should be thankful because I payed you 5 dollars??!!

    January 1, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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