By Andrew Scoggin
Happy new year, America. Turns out your Congress is good for something.
The House elected not to send the country plummeting over the fiscal cliff late Tuesday night, instead passing a Senate bill to prevent substantive tax increases and mandatory spending cuts.
The bill passed the House on a 257 to 167 vote, and it’s a safe assumption President Barack Obama will sign it very soon.
Seemingly House Republicans weren’t terribly happy with the Senate bill (passed on an 89 to 8 vote early Tuesday), but dropped their qualms in the face of taking the blame for gumming up the process.
Now technically the U.S. did “go over” the cliff, but nothing much happened today being a national holiday (ed note: Aside from Northwestern’s bowl win. Yesssssssss.) Financial markets, set to reopen Wednesday, likely would not have taken kindly to any time without a deal.
I won’t get into specifics here (The New York Times does a much better job of that than I could), but here are the main takeaways of the agreement:
A deal finally got done, so kudos to our legislators (and aides) for working tireless, if unnecessary hours. If the first day is any indication, 2013 might bring a much more productive Congress.
Then again, that’s probably way, way too optimistic. They’re probably just ready to go home.
Now about that NHL lockout…