House Republicans reject Cliff deal but it passes anyway

The deal to avoid the fiscal cliff is done as the House passed the Senate version in a late night session on Tuesday.   The vote was 257-167. The fact that only 85 Republicans (out of 241) supported the deal calls into question Speaker Boehner's leadership in the next congress, although it is doubtful anyone has the fortitude - or the stature - to challenge him. All but 20 Democrats voted for the bill.   Gone is the payroll tax holiday, which means 77% of American households will experience a tax increase in the new year. Taxes on dividends and capital gains go up for those making over $400,000 ($450,000 for families) while the estate tax now has a $5 million exemption. The rates for the rich climb t0 39.6%.   The deal also rescinded the pay raise granted Congress by an Obama executive order.   The measure also will keep benefits flowing to 2 million unemployed workers on the verge of losing their federal checks. And it will delay for two months automatic...(Read Full Post)