Reporting Chris Filippi
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OAKLAND (KCBS) – Although not everyone was happy about the deal, including lawmakers in the Bay Area, Congress has approved a proposal that staves off the fiscal cliff.
East Bay Congressman George Miller, who voted for the deal, said that it extends unemployment benefits for 400,000 Californians while also avoiding tax hikes for the middle class.
“And it means jobs in terms of the extension of the renewable energy tax credits for wind and renewable energies in California that’s so important to us,” Miller said.
Oakland Representative Barbara Lee said she reluctantly voted for the plan. It raises taxes on individuals who make more than $400,000 annually, but she said that number should be lower.
“$250,000 is what the president campaigned on,” Lee said. “I think the people in our country understand that the wealthy should pay more.”
No Bay Area Congress members stood against the fiscal cliff bill, though Lynn Woolsey and Pete Stark did not vote at all.
Meanwhile, Silicon Valley business leaders are also supporting the deal.
“On the positive side for the innovation economy including Silicon Valley, the R&D (research and development) tax credit was included in the fiscal cliff deal,” said Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Guardino said the credit should be made permanent so that companies continue to be encouraged to do R&D in the U.S. But he said it still does nothing to lower the corporate tax rate for Silicon Valley companies.
“One thing that almost everyone does agree on is that the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world and it is too high,” he said. “Unfortunately, that is about where the agreement ends.”
The House gave final approval for the measure by a 257-167 vote late Tuesday, this after the Senate did the same late Monday.
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