Middle class rescued from fiscal cliff

U.S. House of Representatives

The U.S. House of Representatives held a 15 minute vote on the “fiscal cliff,” on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, that resulted in a “yea” vote of 257 to a “nay” vote of 167 that sends the measure to President Barack Obama for his signature. About 24 hours earlier, the Senate voted 89 to 8 to approve the legislation to avoid going off that cliff.

Tennessee Senators voting for the bill included both Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. On the other hand in the House seven Tennessee Republicans and one Democratic representative opposed the bill, they were: John Duncan (R), Chuck Fleischmann (R), Scott Des Jarlais (R), Diane Black (R), Marsha Blackburn (R), and Stephen Fincher (R). Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper, Nashville, voted against the measure while Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen, Memphis, voted for it.

Following the vote President Obama entered the White House briefing room; thanking those that had voted for passage of the bill. He said, “Thanks to the votes of Republicans and Democrats in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 per cent of Americans, while preventing tax hikes that could have sent the economy back into recession.” The President also acknowledged Vice President Joe Biden, at his side, who lead Democratic negotiation in the final compromise talks with Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

After his statement, he left the room without further comments, leaving for Honolulu, Hawaii to complete his vacation with his family.

The bill arrived at the White House late the afternoon of Jan, 2, 2013 where it was processed. A copy of the bill was delivered to the President in Hawaii for his review. And, on that day President Obama, while still in Hawaii, signed the Fiscal Cliff legislation into law by directing that the bill be signed by auto pen in Washington, D.C.

The passing of the bill allowed middle class taxpayers to escape a tax increase; while profits for households with more than $450,000 a year felt a tax increase.