House Gives Final Passage to Fiscal Cliff Bill

By: National AP Email
By: National AP Email

UPDATE:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.

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

The Senate passed the bill less than 24 hours earlier.

The measure raises tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, a victory for Obama.

It also extends expiring unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevents a cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and cancels a $900 pay increase due to lawmakers in March.

Another provision is designed to prevent a spike in milk prices.
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Congress sends Pres. Barack Obama bill to avoid `fiscal cliff.'
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Republicans are dropping their demands for additional spending cuts and will hold a House vote on whether to give final congressional approval to the Senate-approved compromise averting "fiscal cliff" tax increases and spending cuts.

The House vote was expected Tuesday evening.

A decision by the Republican-run House to amend the Senate-passed bill would have complicated prospects for final congressional passage of the measure. Senate Democratic aides have said the Democratic-led Senate, which overwhelmingly approved the compromise early Tuesday, would not return to vote on an amended version of the measure.

The measure would allow tax increases on the highest-earning Americans, but retain decade-old income tax cuts for everyone else.


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