Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, released the following statement Tuesday night after House of Representatives passage of legislation to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff”.

“I am pleased to support legislation that will keep taxes from going up on middle-class families and small businesses. This bill permanently extends current rates for 98 percent of families and businesses, preserves much-needed extended unemployment benefits for another year, supports education and research investments to provide opportunity for all Americans and help our economy grow, and averts an ill-conceived cut to doctor Medicare payments that would make it more difficult for seniors to see a doctor.

“And the bill makes a much-needed $600 billion downpayment on our deficit by asking the wealthiest among us to pay a little more in taxes.

“But this bill falls woefully short of what Congress should have been able to achieve. It is far from a perfect solution to only the tax side of the so-called fiscal cliff situation and once again pushes some hard choices about spending off for a couple of months.

“And I am deeply disappointed that the intransigence of many extreme right-wing members in Congress unnecessarily brought us once again to the brink of disaster. These tax issues should have been easily solved months ago so families and small businesses would have the peace of mind that their taxes wouldn’t be going up in 2013.

“I am committed to redoubling my efforts to make the new Congress more effective than this one has been in the last two years, and hope my Republican and Democratic colleagues join me in this effort.”

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.