After months of threats that the country was about to fall off a “fiscal cliff” because of a budget stalemate, the House last night passed legislation averting that disaster. The bill was opposed by many Republicans, but passed overwhelmingly in the Senate early yesterday morning.
The House voted 257-167, with 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans–including House Speaker John Boehner and former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan–supporting the measure.
Republicans who opposed the measure said the legislation did not go far enough in spending cuts. While the new deal will increase taxes on the wealthiest two percent of Americans–individuals earning more than $400,000 or couples earning more than $450,000–Republicans argued it does not call for any significant cuts in health care or other social programs.
The left, meanwhile, criticized President Obama for not taxing the wealthy even more.
But the new deal doesn’t end the debate. According to the Wall Street Journal, “In two months, the delayed $110 billion in spending cuts will again kick in. At the same time, the U.S. will face the need to increase its borrowing limit, a change that can only be made by Congress. That sets up another rancorous fight, one with potentially more damaging consequences.”
Photo from Wikipedia