(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) - Alabama Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby are sharply divided on a deal that was proposed to avoid tax increases on the middle class and major cuts to government spending.
The Senate early Tuesday voted 89-8 to approve the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 - a deal Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky negotiated. The proposal prevents tax increases on the middle class, but imposes higher rates on higher incomes.
Sessions issued a statement Tuesday saying the legislation is necessary to end a period of uncertainty that may impact the country's opportunities for economic growth.
Shelby says he does not support the agreement, and the country needs to exercise fiscal restraint.
In a statement he said, “I do not support this agreement. Our economy needs spending restraint by the federal government and fundamental tax reform that eliminates corporate welfare and lowers individual's rates. Instead, this package raises taxes, increases spending, and will lead to more borrowing. This deal is certainly no cure-all; rather, it falls far short of the measures necessary to promote job creation, economic growth, and fiscal stability.”