Oklahoma Senators React To Fiscal Cliff Deal

Tuesday, January 1st 2013, 4:43 pm
By: News 9

Both Oklahoma Senators watched closely what happened as the House voted late Tuesday night to pass a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn both voted in favor of the legislation passed in the Senate last night.

Both senators say a deal had to be reached to keep our taxes from going up, and to avoid deep spending cuts to government agencies.

But both admit the deal is far from perfect.

They say more has to be done to reduce to the deficit and address entitlement programs.

In a late night vote of 89 to 8, both Oklahoma Senators voted in favor of a measure to extend the Bush tax cuts, for people making less than 400-thousand dollars a year, or 450-thousand for families.

The deal also extends the farm bill for one year and prevents doctors from being forced to take rate cuts for treating Medicare patients.

News 9 spoke with Senator Inhofe on Tuesday as the deal went to the House.

He says he was pleased with the provisions in the bill on the inheritance tax and delaying possible spending cuts to the military.

"I've been considered the most conservative member of the senate, and I can't imagine anyone voting against this bill," Senator Inhofe says, "just keep in mind, this was a successful vote in stopping the most major tax increase in terms of numbers of people who would receive it, probably in our history."

Senator Inhofe didn't agree with a number of items in the bill, like extending unemployment benefits.

Inhofe and Senator Coburn say a lot more work has to be done to chip away at the deficit as lawmakers now will debate the debt ceiling.

Senator Tom Coburn says he's pleased the measure prevents massive tax increases for middle class families.

1/1/2013 Related Story: Bill To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Heads To House