GOP Rep. on Cliff Deal: 'We Dug the Hole of the Deficit Deeper'

By Eric Scheiner | January 2, 2013 | 10:30 AM EST

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R.-S.C.)

( - Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R.-S.C.) defends his vote against the “fiscal cliff” deal saying, “We didn’t fix the problem last night. We prevented ourselves from going over the fiscal cliff. We dug the hole of the deficit deeper.”

During an appearance on Washington Journal on C-Span Wednesday morning, a viewer asked if Mulvaney could ever vote for a compromise that includes a tax increase on high earners.

“I’m willing to take difficult votes”, Mulvaney responded, “I’m willing to do things I never thought that I would do before when you run a campaign - especially your first campaign for Congress – but it has to fix the problem. We didn’t fix the problem last night. We prevented ourselves from going over the fiscal cliff. We dug the hole of the deficit deeper.”

Mulvaney was among the majority of House Republicans in voting against the measure 151- 85. The bill passed the House with a vote of 257 - 167.

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“I’m a fairly conservative person. Depending on whom you ask - the fifth or sixth most conservative person in the Congress. I voted to raise the debt ceiling last year, something I never thought that I would do when I came to Washington,” Mulvaney said.

“I did it because it was part of the thing that we called ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ that actually fixed the problem, or at least that we believed fixed the problem. I’m willing to take difficult votes."

The "fiscal cliff" deal increases the income tax rate for individuals earning more than $400,000 per year and couples earning more than $450,000 per year.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation adds nearly $4 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade when compared with what would have occurred had all the tax cuts expired.

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for