Gerry Connolly lone Virginian to vote for fiscal cliff deal

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Local,Congress,Virginia,Steve Contorno,Fiscal Cliff

Virginia's congressional delegation reached its own bipartisan agreement on the fiscal cliff legislation on which the House voted late Tuesday - both Democrats and Republicans from the Old Dominion voted against the deal.

Of Virginia's 11 House members -- eight Republicans and three Democrats -- 10 voted against the compromise that raised taxes on families earning $450,000 a year but cut them for everybody else. Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly was the only Virginian to vote in favor of the agreement.

In addition to raising taxes, the agreement temporarily delays massive military and domestic spending cuts that were supposed to hit on Jan. 1

HOW THEY VOTED
Voting in favor
11. Gerry Connolly (D-House)
Mark Warner (D-Senate)
Jim Webb (D-Senate)
Voting against (all House members)
1. Rob Wittman (R)
2. Scott Rigell (R)
3. Bobby Scott (D)
4. Randy Forbes (R)
5. Robert Hurt (R)
6. Bob Goodlatte (R)
7. House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R)
8. Jim Moran (D)
9. Morgan Griffith (R)
10. Frank Wolf (R)
See the complete roll call vote for all 435 House members at this link.

Connolly, who represents most of Fairfax and Prince William counties, told colleagues on the House floor Tuesday that he was reluctantly supporting the deal because "it is something that gets us by until we can tackle the larger issues in the next Congress."

"I pray God that the next Congress is more willing to compromise than this one," he said.

Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb, both Virginia Democrats, supported the compromise in the Senate.

The compromise was far from the grand bargain that both Democrats and Republicans were hoping for, and the tax increase on which they did finally agreed was roundly criticized on both sides of the aisle. Liberals hoped President Obama would stick to his campaign promise and raise taxes on anyone earning more than $250,000. Conservatives did not want to raise taxes on anyone.

House Minority Leader Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican from the Richmond area, led the charge against the deal, further highlighting a rift in the GOP between the establishment and the more conservative Tea Party wing of the party. All seven Virginia Republicans backed Cantor.

Reps. Jim Moran and Bobby Scott were two of just 16 Democrats to vote against the House bill. Moran, a Northern Virginia Democrat, criticized the deal for delaying the fight on spending cuts and not including a provision that raised the debt ceiling.

"I am deeply concerned by the long-term consequences of this hastily crafted agreement," Moran said, "both in terms of our ability to invest in our priorities such as educating and training future generations, and in terms of the way we govern this country."

Contact Steve Contorno at scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com.

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