Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year: House Passes "Fiscal Cliff" Bill 257/167 on New Year Day

Voice of Vietnamese Americans celebrates the passing of  "Fiscal Cliff" Bill by the House of Representatives on New Year Day at 08:00 pm, with 257/ 167 votes. Voice of Vietnamese Americans congratulates 85 Republican Congressmen and all of Democrats who voted YES for the bill, to lift the burden off our nation.  

Happy New Year, America!

Source: The Washington Post news:

House passes ‘fiscal cliff’ bill

The House late Tuesday gave final approval to a Senate-backed bill that will let taxes rise for the richest Americans, shield the middle class from tax hikes and extend emergency unemployment benefits, ending Washington’s long drama over the “fiscal cliff.”
The dramatic vote followed a wild day in which the critical measure was assumed for several hours to be headed for defeat because of widespread Republican objections. The vote was 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining with nearly all of the chamber’s Democrats. President Obama, whose vice president, Joe Biden, crafted the deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was preparing to address the nation.
The impact of tax increases on taxpayers
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The impact of tax increases on taxpayers
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Before the vote, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) urged his colleagues to vote for the bill “not as a Democrat, not as a Republican, but as an American who understands that our people believe that action is necessary.’’ Yet he expressed some of the reluctance lawmakers on both sides felt over a compromise that seemed to fully please no one.
“I severely regret that this is not a big, bold and balanced plan,” Hoyer said. “We had an opportunity to reach such an agreement in a bipartisan fashion. And we will not reach a big, bold, balanced plan without bipartisanship, because the decisions we’ll have to make will be too difficult not to do in a bipartisan fashion.”
Earlier, in a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had outlined options for handling the bill, including a proposal to satisfy conservatives by tacking on billions of dollars in new spending cuts.
But the leaders warned that the Senate was unlikely to approve any changes to the carefully calibrated compromise and that a vote to amend the measure probably would leave the nation facing historic tax increases for virtually every American — and force House Republicans to take the blame.
The other option: Let the measure pass the House unchanged and go to the White House for Obama’s signature. Late Tuesday, it appeared that even some of the chamber’s staunchest conservatives were ready to give up the fight.
“I think the best outcome is to have a clean bill, actually put it on the floor and see what the consensus of the House is,” said Rep. Raul R. Labrador (R-Idaho), a freshman who has opposed every major bipartisan compromise on the budget over the past two years and said he would vote against the measure.
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), another freshman, said he would support the legislation as the “safest bet” to prevent a major tax increase that many economists predict would throw the nation back into recession.
“The Senate has gone home,” Barletta said. “I don’t know if playing chicken with the American people at this point is in the best interest of the people.”
If approved by the House, the measure would let the top tax rate rise immediately from 35 percent to 39.6 percent on income over $450,000 for married couples and $400,000 for single people — the first broad tax increase in two decades and the first since 1990 to pass Congress with Republican support.

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