U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, has offered an explanation for his votes on tax, war and stimulus measures that got him identified by the Washington Post as one of just nine House members who voted for deficit-expanding legislation in all three categories. We had a blog post on this matter Tuesday, June 15.
In an email, Larsen spokeswoman Emily Halnon said the Post’s characterization of Larsen’s votes is a bit simplistic. While Larsen did vote for the Bush tax cuts in 2001, he voted against extending those cuts. Halnon also says Larsen is part of a bipartisan effort to move the federal government to sustainable spending levels. Here is the full text of her email:
“While Rick did vote for the 2001 tax cuts, he has voted against extending the Bush tax cuts several times since. He firmly believes that Congress needs to end tax cuts for the top two percent of income-earners to help to tackle our debt and deficit crisis.
“A majority of economists agree that the Recovery Act saved our economy from catastrophe and helped to reduce unemployment across the country. A majority of tea partiers don’t. Rick is committed to implementing a forward thinking plan that protects our economic progress and helps bolster private sector job growth while working to shrink the deficit and control the debt.
“Rick knows you cannot have credibility on reducing the deficit and controlling the debt unless the economy is growing and has consistently pushed that it is urgent for Congress must take a balanced approach to balancing the budget, shrinking the deficit and controlling the debt. No ideology is going to fix this problem.
“This year Rick has voted with Republicans and Democrats to cut nearly $50 billion from the President’s 2011 budget and will be part of the solution to develop a balanced approach to cuts and revenue to move the long term budget to sustainability, the standard that people expect.
“He also believes that all new federal spending or tax cuts need to have a source of funding identified to pay for them. He backs a three-year spending freeze on all general non-defense spending in the budget, supports repealing $6 billion in ethanol subsidies and believes Congress needs to restore fiscal responsibility and accountability to the defense procurement process.”