Calling a deal approved by the House on Tuesday to avert the so-called fiscal cliff “far from perfect,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said in a statement after the vote that the legislation at least prevents what surely would have been a “body blow” to the economy.
The House voted Tuesday to roll back income tax increases on the vast majority of Americans, finalizing a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff after weeks of gridlock.
The L.A. Times reported that the approval, in a session that stretched late into the New Year's holiday, came after hours of closed-door debate among Republicans, with conservatives threatening to derail a bill that had overwhelmingly passed the Senate in the early hours of the morning.
“This bipartisan package is far from perfect, but it does protect middle class tax cuts, raise important new revenues and make the tax code more progressive,” said Schiff, who voted in favor of the legislation. “Most important, it avoids the body blow to the economy that would have accompanied going over the cliff.”
Once signed by President Obama, the bill will allow taxes to rise for those with incomes above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. It also will renew tax credits aimed at low-income households and college students, extend unemployment benefits, delay automatic spending cuts in defense and other government programs for two months, and resolve several other issues that Congress had left hanging.
What it will not do is match the ambitious goals set by Obama and Boehner for a "grand bargain" that would put the government on a path to a balanced budget. Instead, the compromise sets up another deadline two months hence for Congress to once again deal with the government's budget.
Referring to the new deadline, Schiff acknowledged there was much still left to do in the months ahead, but he hoped Congress would avoid the “brinkmanship” that characterized last year's fight over raising the debt ceiling, which led to a credit rating downgrade that “cost our economy so dearly."
FULL L.A. TIMES COVERAGE
Los Angeles Times staff writers Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey contributed to this report.
-- Jason Wells, Times Community News