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Kentucky's congressional delegation split on fiscal cliff vote

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Members of Kentucky's congressional delegation were divided on the fiscal cliff bill.

The eight men who represent the commonwealth on Capitol Hill split on their votes, 4-4.

In the senate, Mitch McConnell helped broker the deal and voted for it while fellow republican Rand Paul voted no.

Over in the house, republican Hal Rogers and democrats John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler voted yes, while Thomas Massie, Ed Whitfield and Brett Guthrie, all republicans, voted no.

A majority of Democrats in both chambers okayed the measure, with Kentucky's democrats falling in line.

"A fair tax system, an economy that works for everyone and a strong social safety net. These are classic American values and throughout history members of both parties have made compromises in order to protect them." Rep. Yarmuth said in an address following the vote.

But many republicans voted against the bill, saying tax hikes will further stifle the economy.

"Anybody remember the yacht tax? We were gonna go get those rich people. We had a special tax on yachts. Guess who lost their jobs? The working guy making 50 and 60 thousand dollars a year making yachts." Sen. Paul said during a news conference in Washington.

GOP-backed spending cuts are not included in the fiscal cliff bill, but one Eastern Kentucky economist says that issue needs to be tackled soon.

"It certainly will have to be done in the future. But as far as this agreement is concerned, the only thing that was affected was taxes and they are affected the higher income group but not the middle class." Richard Crowe, a former economics professor, said.

Meaning the fiscal drama on Capitol Hill will continue.

When taxes and spending are further debated in the coming months, Kentucky's congressional delegation will look a little different.

Republican Andy Barr is taking over 6th District democrat Ben Chandler's seat in the house after defeating him in the November election.


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