US Senate Passes Fiscal Cliff Plan With Tax Hikes and No Cuts in Spending
The US Senate passed a fiscal cliff plan 89-8 with tax hikes and no cuts in spending.
The Nay votes included:
The Ticket reported:
With 2013 just over two hours old, the Senate voted 89-8 on Tuesday to approve a last-minute deal to avert income tax hikes on all but the richest Americans and stall painful spending cuts as part of a hard-fought compromise to avoid the economically toxic “fiscal cliff.”
The country had already technically tumbled over the cliff by the time the gavel came down on the vote at 2:07 a.m.. The House of Representatives was not due to return to work to take up the measure until midday on Tuesday. But with financial markets closed for New Year’s Day, quick action by lawmakers would likely limit the economic damage.
The lopsided margin belied anxiety on both sides about the deal, which emerged from barely two days of talks between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Among the “no” votes: Republican Senator Marco Rubio, widely thought to have his eye on the 2016 presidential race.
In remarks just before the vote, McConnell repeatedly called the agreement “imperfect” but said it beat allowing income tax rates rise across the board.
“I know I can speak for my entire conference when I say we don’t think taxes should be going up on anyone, but we all knew that if we did nothing they’d be going up on everyone today,” he said. “We weren’t going to let that happen.”
“Our most important priority was to protect middle-class families. This legislation does that,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. But Reid cautioned that “passing this agreement does not mean negotiations halt. Far from it.”