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Farmington Area's Congressman Lambasts GOP Over 'Cliff' Delay

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters votes in favor of legislation late Tuesday to address expiring Bush-era tax cuts while delaying spending cuts; against legislation to freeze congressional, federal worker pay.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted late Tuesday night 257-167 to endorse a Senate vote early Tuesday morning on a bill to avert the so-called "Fiscal Cliff", as tax cuts passed when George W. Bush was President expired Jan. 1, in addition to automatic spending cuts which were delayed.

According to U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, (D-9th) the "cliff" never should have happened. Peters, who at the time of the vote represented Farmington and Farmington Hills, supported the legislation, which was approved less than 24 hours after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation.

"I have been exceptionally frustrated by the Republicans' insistence on drawing out this self-inflicted crisis until the last possible moment," the Bloomfield Hills native Congressman, now in his third term, wrote in a statement Wednesday. 

"In the New Year, we must come together to achieve long-term solutions to our nation’s financial challenges."

Only 8.5 percent of Democrats voted nay, while 35.7 percent of Republicans voted in favor. 

On another controversial bill, Peters voted against a plan to freeze the salaries of lawmakers and federal employees. That bill passed 287 to 129, with 29.2 percent of Democrats voting with Republicans to approve the measure.

According to an article in the Washington Post's Politics blog, House Democrats charge that the vote to freeze salaries was intended to provide political cover for Republicans planning to vote against the fiscal cliff bill. The GOP-backed bill introduced late Monday would freeze the salaries of lawmakers and the nation’s 2 million federal employees for the remainder of fiscal 2013. 

Editor's Note: In the 113th Congress, Peters serves the 14th Congressional district, which includes Farmington Hills, while Farmington moves into the 11th district, represented by Republican Kerry Bentivolio.

Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch editor Joni Hubred-Golden contributed to this report. 

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