House Speaker John Boehner presented two options to his members today—to make an amendment that would add a package of spending cuts to the bill, an extremely risky move, or vote to adopt the deal and send it along to President Obama. After determining there wasn’t enough support to amend the legislation, which passed 89-8 in the Senate, the House is moving forward with an up-or-down vote tonight.
The decision to move ahead with the Senate bill — which allows tax rates to jump to 39.6 percent on income over $450,000 — came after House Republicans internally rejected a plan to tack on a package of spending cuts to the Senate measure, which passed early Tuesday morning.
The Senate bill will now likely pass the House after being allowed an up-or-down vote and end the immediate crisis.
If the Senate deal had been amended, it would’ve prolonged the drama as Senate Democrats have said they wouldn’t take up an amended bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden reached the Senate deal over the weekend, and without an agreement, the nation’s recovering economy could be shaken by hiking tax rates on all Americans and maintaining steep federal spending cuts.
The House passed the Senate fiscal cliff bill, 257-167.
The House voted Tuesday night 257 to 167 to pass legislation that prevents tax rates from rising on households making under $450,000 and delays for two months scheduled across-the-board spending cuts that would have started Wednesday.
- The legislation now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.
- Under the measure, income tax rates will rise on individuals making more than $400,000 and families making more than $450,000; the Alternative Minimum Tax is permanently indexed for inflation and the estate tax rises to 40 percent from its current 35 percent level, with the first $5 million in assets exempted.
- The legislation is the product of months of intense negotiations between the White House and Congress. Its passage averts a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that could have caused another recession.