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Peterson says 'fiscal cliff' bill pads deficit

Published On: Jan 02 2013 10:05:21 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 02 2013 02:55:41 PM CST
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

The sole Minnesota Democrat who voted against the bill to keep the U.S. from driving off the "fiscal cliff" says he voted no because it adds $4 trillion to the deficit.

Rep. Collin Peterson says Americans are willing to pay their bills, but Washington won't do what needs to be done.

Peterson is the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, and had long opposed a short-term extension of the 2008 Farm Bill that became part of the deal. But he told The Associated Press on Wednesday he would have voted no even if the fiscal bill had included the farm provisions he sought.

Democrats Tim Walz, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison voted yes, while Republicans Erik Paulsen, Michele Bachmann and Chip Cravaack voted no. Republican John Kline voted yes.

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Minnesota's representatives voted along party lines on the bill to keep the U.S. from driving off the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- with two notable exceptions.

Democrats Tim Walz, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison voted yes, while Republicans Erik Paulsen, Michele Bachmann and Chip Cravaack voted no.

But Democrat Collin Peterson also voted no, while Republican John Kline voted yes.

Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, had long opposed a short-term extension of the 2008 Farm Bill that became part of the deal. He wanted a new five-year farm bill to be part of the plan, along with dairy policy reforms he authored that did not make it into the bill.

While Kline voted yes, he called on President Barack Obama to work with Congress to cut spending.

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