Peterson says 'fiscal cliff' bill pads deficit

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm •  Published: January 2, 2013

But Paulsen dismissed the speculation as "ridiculous." He told the AP he intends to run for re-election to the House in 2014. He said he voted no because the bill "doesn't provide a meaningful solution" for cutting deficit spending.

Paulsen also objected because the bill contained tax breaks for some special interests such as NASCAR, but no relief for manufacturers such as Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc. and St. Jude Medical Inc. from a medical device tax that took effect Tuesday that's meant to help fund the Obama administration's health care overhaul. Paulsen, supported by other members of the state's congressional delegation, led an unsuccessful fight to repeal the 2.3 percent tax on devices such as pacemakers.

Paulsen said he tried to get a repeal included in the final bill and would have leaned toward voting for it if he had succeeded because medical devices is one of Minnesota's most vital industries. But he said it still would not have been an easy vote for him.

Combined with such tax increases, Bachmann said, the bill is "a recipe for an anemic recovery" that won't create jobs.

Minnesota Democrats who stood with Obama and voted for the bill also found reasons to criticize it. Ellison said it "tees up an even more difficult fight in two months" over raising the debt ceiling and deep automatic cuts to military and domestic spending that were deferred until then as part of the bill.

Peterson agreed, saying the bill just delays the inevitable.

"If you think this was something, wait 'til you see what happens two or three months from now," he said.

Walz said he was "deeply disappointed" with the nine-month farm bill extension. But he said the budget bill protects middle class families from an income tax increase and extends a wind energy tax credit that he said will create jobs in Minnesota and move the country toward energy independence.

Like Paulsen, McCollum noted that the bill extended some existing tax breaks that have come under criticism, including one that helps NASCAR build racetracks. But McCollum said the bill protects Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and extends benefits for the unemployed.