After a day of starts and stops and uncertainty over whether the House would take up the Senate's fiscal cliff deal, the House passed the measure late Tuesday night. President Obama is expected to sign the bill. Our Washington Bureau reporter Erin Billups has the details.
WASHINGTON -- "On this vote the yays are 257; the nays are 167. The motion is adopted."
And with that the House passed the hard fought fiscal cliff deal late Tuesday night. Shortly after, President Obama spoke, thanking lawmakers for their vote.
He said, "I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest two percent of Americans, while preventing a middle class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession and obviously had a severe impact on families all across America."
Most of New Year's Day it was unclear whether the House would agree to vote on the bill that passed the Senate earlier with overwhelming votes. Several Republicans opposed the measure, criticizing it's lack of spending cuts, but in the end 85 voted to approve it, but not without a few parting shots.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) Texas said, "I just wanted to thank so many on the other side for finally for finally acknowledging publicly that that 98-percent of the Bush tax cuts help the middle class."
The Bush Era tax breaks will be extended for individuals making $400,000 and couples making $450,000 or less, unemployment insurance will be extended, along with the current estate tax exemption. It also raises the threshold for the alternative minimum tax, permanently linking it to inflation and prevents a spike in milk prices.
House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi said, "Reconciling our differences was a monumental task especially with the time growing short."
The bill also delays the $110 billion across-the board spending cuts, known as the sequester, for two months, which could turn into another political standoff - something the president cautioned against.
President Obama said, "One thing I think hopefully in the New Year we'll focus on is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little less drama, a little less brinksmanship."
The President also asserted he wouldn't engage in another potential political fight on horizon, whether to raise the country's debt limit.