WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) released the following statement this evening after voting in favor of the bipartisan Senate-passed bill to avert the fiscal cliff.

“This evening I voted to protect the middle class and prevent a tax increase for 98% of Americans. I am proud to vote for my constituents, many of whom told me how a tax increase would impact their lives.

“I’m here to fight for people like Valerie who is already counting pennies. Valerie is a nurse case manager for children with special needs and she’s scared that her hours will be cut which will hurt the families who rely on her guidance, and her ability to pay the bills. She drives a 2000 model car and her cell phone is 6 years old. With a tax increase, she says she’ll have to eat less, drop her internet service and figure out how to pay her property tax.

“And I’m here to fight for people like Kristina who was worried that a tax increase would mean she’d have to work out a payment plan with the IRS. More than $800 of her paycheck goes to taxes, health care, social security and mandatory retirement deductions, making her budget already tight.  

“I am not in Congress to play political games; I’m here to represent the people I serve and protect them from falling off their personal economic cliffs.

“There is still more work to be done as we consider strategic cuts to defense and discretionary spending as well as meaningful but fair reforms to Medicare and Medicaid so that they remain a strong safety net for all Americans.

“I hope that my colleagues in the new Congress are prepared to put policy before politics. May the monumentally unproductive and polarizing 112th Congress be remembered as the nadir in Congressional history.”