News / USA

US Lawmakers Approve Fiscal Cliff Deal

US Lawmakers Approve Fiscal Cliff Deali
X
January 02, 2013 12:43 PM
After a dramatic day of unexpected twists and turns, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Senate compromise bill to avert massive tax increases and severe cuts to government spending known as the fiscal cliff. And President Obama said would sign the compromise. Earlier in the day, the outcome seemed in doubt, when House Republicans complained bitterly about the need for more cuts to government spending. VOA congressional correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill.

US Lawmakers Approve Fiscal Cliff Deal

Cindy Saine
After a dramatic day of unexpected twists and turns, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Senate compromise bill to avert massive tax increases and severe cuts to government spending known as the fiscal cliff.

Earlier in the day, passage of the measure seemed in doubt, when House Republicans complained bitterly about the need for more cuts to government spending.  President Obama welcomed the last minute reprieve from the cliff.

After almost two years of wrangling between Republicans and Democrats on the level of taxes Americans should pay and the size of cuts to government spending, the House and Senate have both passed a compromise agreement to pull the country back from the edge of the fiscal cliff.

Read President Obama's statement

President Obama welcomed the last minute action by Congress before financial markets re-open after the New Year's Day holiday.

"Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest two percent of Americans, while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession," he said.

The president did warn Congress, however, that he was not prepared to engage in a similar brinksmanship battle over the debt ceiling, set to expire within the next several months.

Obama spoke just moments after the House, by a vote of 257-167, approved a compromise bill hammered out between Senate leaders and Vice President Joe Biden, following a day of fierce protest by House Republicans.

Democrats, who are in the minority in the House, voted in strong numbers to give the bill enough votes to pass.  Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said "With 37-and-a-half hours left to go in the 112th Congress, we will display to all of our constituents that yes, in the final analysis, we have the ability to come together - to act, not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans."

The top Republican leaders did not come to the floor to speak on the bill, but Republican Congressman Dave Camp said Democrats had finally agreed to support Bush-era tax cuts they had long opposed.

"Republicans and the American people are getting something really important, permanent tax relief," he said.

Earlier in the day, the entire fiscal cliff package seemed on the verge of collapse as House Republicans strongly objected to a lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill, and threatened to try to amend it, which would have likely thrown the whole process into chaos. 

Late in the evening, House Republicans agreed to bring the Senate measure up for a vote.  House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi conceded the bill does not contain everything everyone wanted.

"But this is a very, very strong first step as we go into the New Year," she said.

Taxpaying Americans and financial markets around the globe are also likely to welcome the passing and signing of the bill as a good start to the new year, even though it came at the last minute.  On Thursday, the newly-elected 113th Congress will be sworn in, and lawmakers will have to start from the beginning on all legislation.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: soshaljustic from: NV
January 01, 2013 11:15 PM
The vote was 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining with nearly all of the chamber’s Democrats-not wholly bipartisan-but passed.


by: behonest
January 01, 2013 6:02 PM
The Fiscal Cliff is a manufactured crisis by the corrupt Media and politicians run by the elites. The real financial crisis is the Derivative bubble and the Dollar bubble. The retirement money in the markets that will disappear when the next "unforeseen" meltdown happens is what they really want. The elites already took out the Real Estate market. Where did that money go? It went somewhere....

In Response

by: Anonymous
January 05, 2013 6:56 AM
I'm from china.Months ago,NEW YORK TIMES and Bloomberg News published a news about chinese premier WEN's and CPC new leader XI's private financial informations respectively.The websites of this two news agency are blocked in china.I can not read them.But I am very interested.Can anybody send this two articles to me?My e-mail address is debris_zheng@hotmail.com.TKS!

In Response

by: ddmm from: seattle
January 02, 2013 12:32 AM
Don't you guy's ever get tired of making predictions that never come true? Can any of you dig up just one predicted outcome made by Cons in the past 10 or 20 years that ever came close to being true? Freaking people out to get them to buy gold is about the only thing your predictions are good for.


by: don schaefer from: palm desert ca.
January 01, 2013 5:01 PM
Sure; vote on before you read it--a Nancy Pelosi tradition--look where that led us the last time we listened to a politician who was in a hurry...no thanks..read it, understand it, and then do the peoples business and if it doesn't do what the "peoples house" think it should send it back..


by: Montana Libertarian from: Rural West
January 01, 2013 3:20 PM
This whole revenue negotiation was a waste of time. We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. The top 1% of earners already pay 34% of the income taxes collected. The bottom 47% pay nothing. That kind of redistributive scheme is dishonest and corrupting.

Bush put two wars on the credit card. Obama, however, has been even more profligate, doubling on his watch the national debt accumulated by all of his predecessors combined. He's on track to double it again in his second term.

There's plenty of blame for Bush and Obama both, plus enough left over to disgrace both congressional parties.

We are borrowing 43 cents of every dollar we spend. That is a recipe for a real disaster, for our kids and grandkids if it doesn't strike sooner. Cutting spending drastically is the only solution.

In Response

by: Repub SameasDems
January 02, 2013 7:36 AM
"We are borrowing 43 cents of every dollar we spend.... "

Everyone needs to understand this... This isn't about political nonsense, this is a financial reality. If we stay on this current path (which we know about but continue to do nothing) the interest payment will reach 1 trillion in 10 years. The interest payment will exceed total revenue by 2050. So in less than 40 years we will see the USA economy collapse.


by: emenot from: Hong Kong
January 01, 2013 2:23 PM
Our education system needs help, its problem will go away with serious expulsion of all illegals! Our country was strong before we allow our borders to be invaded, damn the liberals!


by: emenot from: Hong Kong
January 01, 2013 2:19 PM
I am insolvent but for America to survive our country need to reset with this "Fiscal Cliff", the Dems and Biden the puppet master of Obama(BAMBAM) is killing us with his spending!


by: Anonymous
January 01, 2013 2:10 PM
obama and U.S. deserve support

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid