As of Thursday, when the 113th Congress is sworn in, Representative Adam Smith (WA-09) will be my new congressman. So it was interesting to see Smith—who has reputation as a fairly centrist Democrat—join my old congressman, liberal firebrand Representative Jim McDermott (WA-07), as two of only 16 Democrats to vote against the "fiscal cliff" bill. So why did Smith vote no?
“I’m concerned that revenue has been sort of taken off the table at this point,” Smith said. Ninety-percent “of the Bush tax cuts are now locked in permanently, so any effort to deal with the very large debt and deficit that we have going down the road here revenue is pretty much off the table and we didn’t get much. Those are my concerns and that’s why I voted no.”
In previous interviews, Smith told the SECB that he would let all the Bush-era tax cuts expire before voting to extend them for the wealthy. Smith also suggested that given the more progressive makeup of his newly redrawn 9th Congressional District (which now includes ultra-liberal Southeast Seattle), he would "probably wind up with a more progressive voting record." So Smith's hard pro-revenue stance shouldn't come as a big surprise.
Even more encouraging was the way Smith handled the Fox & Friends team this morning, defending the President's leadership even while defending his own opposition to the deal, and actually laughing at their attempts at misinformation. It's a promising start for ex-7th-CDers like me, who loved being represented by McDermott, a Democrat Republicans love to hate.