Congress passes "fiscal cliff" package by vote of 257 /167

According to the Associated Press, legislation to block the “fiscal cliff” is headed to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.

The bill will avoid, for now, the major tax increases and government spending cuts that had been scheduled to take effect with the new year.

The legislation will raise tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for
individuals and $450,000 for couples. That was higher than the
thresholds of $200,000 and $250,000 that Obama campaigned for. But
remarkably, in a party that swore off tax increases two decades ago,
dozens of Republicans supported the bill at both ends of the Capitol.

The Senate approved the measure on a vote of 89-8 less than 24 hours
earlier.

The measure split the upper ranks of the Republican leadership in the House.

Speaker John Boehner of Ohio voted in favor, while Majority Leader
Eric Cantor of Virginia opposed the bill. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s 2012
vice presidential candidate, supported the measure.

Final approval came in the House on New Year’s Night. The vote was 257 to 167.

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