Senate passes cliff deal

With three hours to spare, the Senate passed a fiscal cliff deal that would raise taxes on the wealthy while punting on the issues of spending cuts for two months. As far as other elements of the deal, President Obama appears to have gotten about 90% of what he wanted. Politico: The measure, which would raise tax rates for families making more than $450,000 and delay deep across-the-board spending cuts for two months, cleared the Senate by an overwhelming 89-8 vote shortly after 2 a.m. The Republican-controlled House could take up the pact in a rare New Year's Day session, though the timing of that chamber's vote was not clear. The $620 billion agreement was a major breakthrough in a partisan standoff that has dragged on for months, spooking Wall Street and threatening to hobble the economic recovery. It turned back the GOP's two-decade-long refusal to raise tax rates, delivering a major win for the president. The bill also canceled pay raises for members of Congress...(Read Full Post)