Congress passes fiscal cliff bill President to sign into law
Overcoming Republican resistance, the US House of Representatives late Tuesday night passed the “fiscal cliff” bill by 257 to 167 votes, ending a dramatic New Year’s Day showdown over income taxes and deep federal spending cuts.
The bill, which was passed by the Senate (89 to 8 votes) in the wee hours of the New Year, would now go to the White House for US President Barack Obama to sign into law, which would end months of anxious moments with regard to fiscal cliff.
Had not passed, fiscal cliff would have resulted in increased tax rates for more than 98 percent of Americans.
The passage of the legislation by the Republican-majority House was not before some anxious moments during the day, when some of the Republican leaders were mulling bringing amendment to the bill passed by the Senate, but gave up as they were unable to muster enough support.
The Senate bill in itself was a result of the days of negotiations between the Democrats, Republicans and the White House and required the services of US Vice President Joe Biden.
“The House passage of the Senate’s bipartisan legislation is a victory for the middle class,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.