Ky. delegation splits on fiscal cliff -- Rogers, Chandler and Yarmuth vote for bill

01/01/2013 10:41 PM

Kentucky was officially half for the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff and half against it.

Both of Kentucky’s Democratic congressman and the Republican dean of the delegation who chairs the House Appropriations Committee voted late Tuesday in favor of the measure aimed at avoiding the fiscal cliff by keeping in place tax cuts for most Americans.

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, cast what could have been his last vote in Congress in favor of the bill. He lost the election in the 6th District to Republican Andy Barr, who will be sworn in later this month.

Also voting for the bill were Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville and Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset, who has been in Congress since 1981.

The measure passed 257-167.

Among those voting against it were three Kentucky Republicans: U.S. Reps. Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville, Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green and Thomas Massie of Vanceburg.

Guthrie issued a statement after the vote saying the proposal “was not balanced in its approach.”

“I have said from the very beginning that ensuring we do not go over the fiscal cliff should be a combination of tax reform coupled with spending cuts that are vital to the health of our nation,” Guthrie said. “For too long, House Republicans were told they would see a good-faith discussion on spending cuts. Yet again, we have been told no, that spending cuts will come next time.”

Meanwhile, Yarmuth — who is not usually one to praise the House Speaker, called Boehner courageous during an interview with MSNBC because the Speaker was willing to call the measure up for a vote Tuesday despite protests from many within his own party, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

Similarly, Kentucky split its vote in the Senate.

While Kentucky’s senior senator, Mitch McConnell, served as a catalyst for forging a deal with Democrats, the junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, was among a bipartisan group of eight to oppose the measure early Tuesday morning.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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