10:14 PM Eastern - Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Deal to avert fiscal cliff provides tax cut for 98% of Americans #default

Late this evening, the House passed--and sent to President Obama's desk--legislation to avert tax increases on most Americans and extend unemployment benefits. The final vote on the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" was 257-167, with 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. The bill passed a Senate vote with an 89-8 margin earlier in the day.

Following the vote, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry issued a statement, praising the President, Majority Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi for their indispensable leadership in mitigating the right wing's extremist agenda to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. "This deal is the right move to protect America's middle class families, who were facing a New Year with higher taxes, and to prevent two million Americans from losing their unemployment benefits," said Henry.

In a brief address Tuesday night, President Obama welcomed the passage of a fiscal cliff deal but made it clear that this is "just one step" in the effort to strengthen the American economy. Watch video of Obama's address here.

The bill passed the House will pay down the sequester for two months. WaPo has more on the deal here. Check out their fiscal cliff tip sheet here.

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