U.S. House Does the Deal

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio

House passes fiscal cliff deal, tamps down

GOP revolt

Despite a divided Republican majority, the House of Representatives late Tuesday easily approved emergency bipartisan legislation sparing all but a sliver of America’s richest from sharp income tax hikes — while setting up another “fiscal cliff” confrontation in a matter of weeks.

Lawmakers voted 257-167 to send the compromise to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Eighty-five Republicans and 172 Democrats backed the bill, which had sailed through the Senate by a lopsided 89-8 margin shortly after 2 a.m. Opposition comprised 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner voted in favor of the deal, as did House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, his party’s failed vice presidential candidate. But Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy voted against it.

Obama, speaking from the White House briefing room shortly after the vote, praised lawmakers for coming together to avert a tax increase that “could have sent the economy back into a recession.” (Read more here.)

  • Bill S

    The 151 republicans and 16 democrats that voted no in the face of unavoidable consequences have shown their inability to represent their constituencies in a responsible manner. Those who voted yes knew that they were not getting everything they wanted but were at least willing to put their own interests aside for the sake of a compromise that was essential to our continuing to function as a democracy. Democrat or republican, anyone who would intentionally vote for us to plunge over the fiscal cliff and to do severe damage to both our economy and the unemployed should be remembered come next election.

    • Manny

      Bill S – There’s no proof or consensus that if we had failed to pass anything it would have sent the economy into recession. I’ve seen arguments both ways. To be sure, the media will always project doomsday. That’s how they make money, and politicians will always make themselves look like heros for averting disaster. It’s in both their interest to make it seem like the end of the world is coming and elected officials through their “self-sacrificing” pomposity did you and the American people a favor. They creted this fiscal mess from the beginning. I give no one any credit for anything here.

  • Sus

    I’d like to know if the people who voted against the bill had a better alternative.

  • Bill S

    The fiscal cliff, which wasn’t its name when it was set in place, was a self imposed deadline that was supposed to be so treacherous that it would force the President and Congress to take the necessary steps to avert it. That the deadline was not met until the next day shows just how dysfunctional our government is and will remain for the foreseeable future.

    We have zero chance of ever being in the black again. Interest on the debt will eventually become the major portion of our budget. We are looking at the end of the world as we know it. And we have congressmen who have sworn an oath to never raise taxes. And we have entitlements for which we have no money to pay. Yet people fret over problems that hardly affect anyone. Go figure.

    • http://theshepherdspresence.wordpress.com Karyl

      My congressman, Todd Rokita, more accurately described it as a fical pothole. I certainly seems to be a self inflicted wound. Just don’t give up. 2014 is coming.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      If I were a Congressman, I’d take an oath that I will raise taxes, but for every dollar of increased taxes, three dollars of spending cuts would need to be made. Without that 3:1 ratio, I would not vote for any tax increases. If we don’t cut spending drastically, we’re going down.

      • Bill S

        I think voters should seriously consider not voting for anyone who has sworn an oath not to raise taxes because they are being used by a powerful lobby representing the richest people in the country who could well afford to contribute more to reducing the deficit. And yes, we do need more spending cuts. Both the taxes and the cuts are going to have to be painful. There is no way around it.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          I agree, but more on the principle that swearing an oath not to do a certain thing (unless that thing is something that is always evil) is foolish for a politician. Raising taxes (even though I think taxes border on immoral sometimes) is not something that is evil in itself, so why swear an oath never to do it?

    • Manny

      Bill the deadline was created not because it would force something. It was created to postpone decisions until they got re-elected. It was the most cynical ploy I have seen in my lifetime. Obama was facing a tough re-election in a very poor economy. And the Senate Democrats had an unusually large number of members facing re-election. The cynical ploy worked and to top it off they get to blame Republicans in the House, the same Republicans who have responsibly put out multiple budgets every year only to die in the Senate that has irresponsibly not passed a budget in three years. It’s amazing how this has turned out.