Fiscal Cliff - DEAL PASSED - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Fiscal Cliff - DEAL PASSED

Updated:

UPDATE: 1/1 10:28 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Legislation to block the "fiscal cliff" is headed to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. The bill will avoid, for now, the major tax increases and government spending cuts that had been scheduled to take effect with the new year.

Final approval came in the House on New Year's Night. The vote was 257 to 167.

The Senate passed the bill less than 24 hours earlier.

The measure raises tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, a victory for Obama.

It also extends expiring unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevents a cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and cancels a $900 pay increase due to lawmakers in March.

Another provision is designed to prevent a spike in milk prices.


UPDATE:  1/1 7:18PM

NBC News is reporting the House of Representatives will vote on the Senate's fiscal cliff plan at 8:00pm CST.  Stay tuned to KWQC and kwqc.com for the latest developments.

UPDATE:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The No. 2 Republican in the House leadership says he opposes a Senate-passed measure to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor told reporters after a two-hour closed-door meeting Tuesday with his GOP lawmakers that he did not support the bill.

He said House leaders were looking for "the best path forward" and that no decisions had been made.

The Senate passed the measure early Tuesday by a sweeping 89-8 vote. House passage of the measure would send it to President Barack Obama for his signature. The bill would increase taxes on family income exceeding $450,000 and delay across-the-board spending cuts for two months.

House GOP leaders were considering amending the measure and sending it back to the Senate, but that step could produce a deadlock.

UPDATE:  

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Democratic aide says the White House and congressional Republicans have reached an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

The measure would extend Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes below $450,000 and briefly avert across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week.

Vice President Joe Biden was set to sell the agreement to Senate Democrats at a meeting at the Capitol on Monday night.

The aide required anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

 

UPDATE:

 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day.

President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday they are near a deal to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts - the fiscal cliff - that take effect with the new year. Both men said they were still bargaining over whether - and how - to avoid $109 billion in cuts to defense and domestic programs that take effect on Wednesday.

It remained unclear whether the Senate would vote Monday. Congress could pass later legislation retroactively blocking the tax hikes and spending cuts.

Compromise Deal?

WASHINGTON (AP) - The contours of a deal to avert the 'fiscal cliff' are emerging that would raise tax rates on couples making over $450,000 a year, raise the estate tax rate and extend unemployment benefits for one year. That's according to officials familiar with the negotiations.

The deal in the works would return tax rates on families making over $450,000 to 39.6 percent. The tax on estates worth more than $5 million would increase to 40 percent. And unemployment benefits would continue for one year.

The officials say the White House and Republicans are at an impasse over what to do about automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to begin taking effect on Jan. 1. Democrats want to put off the cuts for one year.

The officials requested anonymity in order to discuss the internal negotiations.