For the first time, 23 ABC had the chance to ask Congressman McCarthy about his fiscal cliff vote

McCarthy talks about the financial trouble in D.C.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - For weeks, America teetered on the fiscal cliff, which was a double whammy of tax increases and billions in across-the-board spending cuts.

At the beginning of the year, a last minute deal was reached just as the country was about to go over the edge.

The vote in the House of Representatives was 257-167. Only 85 republicans voted to pass the deal.

"Some liked the approach of getting some permanency in taxes, from the standpoint that you got 98% permanent in the process, going forward," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Whip. "So they fought a long time for that."

Other representatives, like McCarthy, thought they could get a better agreement. They were hoping for one that included cuts in spending.

"I voted no because it was not a balanced approach," said Rep. McCarthy. "I voted no because I did not think the bill was good enough from the standpoint that it made no cuts and added $4 trillion. We've got to change the tide and the debt that has been accumulating. Otherwise, our children will not have the opportunities we've had. This is a time we make a difference, and I'm willing to fight for that."

In the bill that passed, taxes will go up on those making more than $400,000 a year. If that did not pass, taxes would have gone up on everyone, but still McCarthy voted against the bill.

"If we passed the deadline nothing would have happened that we couldn't have solved," said McCarthy. "I actually believe we would have been in a stronger position. We could have done retroactive, we could have done a more balanced approach, and we could have done something the American public could have read before voted upon. What I saw come through was not something I would have supported."

As the debt ceiling approaches, congress is gearing up for another battle. It's one that surely won't be easy, but the congressman said despite that, he has a positive outlook about how the next four years will go.

"I think regardless if somebody is a republican or a democrat, they're an American first," said McCarthy. "That's what we should do. We should put America first. (We need the) best piece of legislation that could make this economy stronger and make our country stronger, instead of what is the best political gain. That's how I look at legislation. That's why I fight for what I fight for and how I vote."

As far as Kern County is concerned, McCarthy said there is small business and water legislation going through the House of Representatives that could affect people here at home. 

He also said getting our economic house in order is still the most important issue.


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