The US Senate has passed legislation early New Year’s Day to neutralize a fiscal cliff combination of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts with a lopsided 89-8 vote.
Senate passage set the stage for a final showdown in the House of Representatives, where a vote was expected later Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday, which raises tax rates on wealthy Americans.
The Senate vote came hours after the White House reached a compromise deal with Senate Republicans.
The spending cuts are delayed just two months. The Republican compromised significantly on the revenue side (as did the Democrats to a degree). The real crunch will be whether the Democrats can agree to reduce some of the spending the Government is unable to pay for.
The Washington Post looks at the winners and losers to date:
- Joe Biden – may set him up for 2016
- Mitch McConnell – saved the Republicans from being blamed for tax increases for everyone
- Obama – got a deal he can sign
- John Boehner – couldn’t get the votes from his own team
- Obama – his last minute campaign rally alienated votes he needs
The House has yet to vote on the deal, but the massive vote in the Senate suggests it should pass the House fairly comfortable. I’d guess 80% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans may vote for it.