January 1st, 2013
12:51 PM ET
2 years ago

5 things to know about the fiscal cliff

(CNN) - It's complex, dense, and filled with compromise. And the deal passed by the Senate to avert the "fiscal cliff" might not even become law, depending what actions the House takes.

Here are five things to know about the bill that passed the Senate overwhelmingly in the middle of the night.

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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
White House talking points on the fiscal cliff deal
January 1st, 2013
10:51 AM ET
2 years ago

White House talking points on the fiscal cliff deal

Washington (CNN) - The White House sent supporters talking points on the Senate-passed fiscal cliff deal which tout the middle class tax rate extension, the "balance" of spending cuts and tax increases, temporary suspension of the sequester, and other successes for the Obama administration.

The full topline talking points, obtained by CNN, are below the jump.
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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • President Obama • White House
Latest updates: House approves fiscal cliff bill
January 1st, 2013
09:20 AM ET
2 years ago

Latest updates: House approves fiscal cliff bill

(CNN) - With bipartisan support, the House approved the fiscal cliff bill late Tuesday night after Republican leaders ultimately decided not to try and tack on an amendment to the Senate version of the legislation, which passed in the upper chamber around 2 a.m. ET Tuesday morning.

The package (PDF) puts off budget cuts for two months and preserves Bush-era income tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 or couples earning less than $450,000.

Shortly after the House approved the bill, President Barack Obama delivered a statement at the White House, saying he will sign the legislation. Check back here for the latest updates.

12:06 a.m. ET - Air Force One left for Hawaii with the president on board.

11:30 p.m. ET - Obama will depart the White House late Tuesday, the White House announced, to resume his vacation in Hawaii. He left his family on the island last week, putting his vacation on hold and returning to Washington to deal with the fiscal cliff negotiations.

11:26 p.m. ET - Obama said the government still needs to take a balanced approach on reducing the deficit.

"The one thing that 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 bit less drama, a little bit less brinksmanship, not scare the heck out of folks quite as much. We can come together as Democrats and Republicans to cut spending and raise revenue in a way that reduces our deficit, protects the middle class and provides ladders into the middle class for everybody who is willing to work hard," he said.

11:24 p.m. ET – “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed,” Obama said, referring to the upcoming debt ceiling debate.

11:21 p.m. ET – "I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2% 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," Obama said.

11:20 p.m. ET - In the White House Press Briefing Room, President Barack Obama said the central premise of his campaign for president was to change the tax code that was "too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of middle class Americans."

"Tonight we have done that," he added, thanking the leaders of the House and Senate. He also thanked Vice President Joe Biden, a chief negotiator in the talks.

11:19 p.m. ET - Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the bi-partisan co-chairs of Obama’s deficit reduction commission, said in a statement after the vote that the deal “is truly a missed opportunity to do something big to reduce our long term fiscal problems, but it is a small step forward in our efforts to reduce the federal deficit.”

“Washington missed this magic moment to do something big to reduce the deficit, reform our tax code, and fix our entitlement programs,” the said. “We have all known for over a year that this fiscal cliff was coming. In fact Washington politicians set it up to force themselves to seriously deal with our Nation's long term fiscal problems. Yet even after taking the country to the brink of economic disaster, Washington still could not forge a common sense bipartisan consensus on a plan that stabilizes the debt.”

After the commission submitted a report which was received coolly by the president, who did not work to turn its recommendations into law, the two founded the group Fix the Debt. Among other things, the group released a web video in which Simpson performed the “Gangnam style” dance.

11:16 p.m. ET – Calling the deal a "disaster," the national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots lambasted lawmakers for passing the fiscal cliff bill.

"Politicians from both parties have an addiction to overspending and they must face it now-not at midnight the day before another so-called “deadline” approaches. We will continue to stand up for fiscal responsibility – even if we are the last ones standing," Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement.

11:12 p.m. ET - From CNN's Dan Merica: Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman who voted yes on the fiscal cliff deal, told reporters he cast his vote because, "If you want a bill to pass, you should vote for it."

Why did you want it to pass, he was asked. "I am not afraid of anything, I think it needed to pass."

Because? "Because it needed to pass. I wanted to stop a big tax increase," he said.

11:08 p.m. ET – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate, voted for the fiscal cliff deal, as did House Speaker John Boehner. The No. 2 ranking Republican in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, third-ranking Republican in the House, GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, both voted against it.

11:04 p.m. ET – The White House announced President Barack Obama will deliver a statement at 11:20 p.m. ET.

10:57 p.m. ET - The U.S. House of Representatives approves fiscal cliff deal, surpassing the 217 votes needed for passage. The final breakdown is 257 in support and 167 in opposition.

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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
Senators with eye on 2016 vote against cliff deal
January 1st, 2013
08:04 AM ET
2 years ago

Senators with eye on 2016 vote against cliff deal

(CNN) - After months of uncertainly, the U.S. Senate passed a last-minute deal Tuesday to avert the year-end fiscal cliff. The measure passed overwhelmingly 89-8. So which senators said no? Here's a list:
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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Senate
3 more fiscal cliffs loom
January 1st, 2013
07:12 AM ET
2 years ago

3 more fiscal cliffs loom

New York (CNNMoney) - Think the fiscal cliff is causing uncertainty and holding back the economy? How about three more cliff-like deadlines over the next three months?

That's what's in store if Congress adopts the deal under consideration. The proposal at hand on Capitol Hill doesn't address the debt ceiling and temporarily puts off most of the automatic spending cuts otherwise set to take effect Wednesday.

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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
January 1st, 2013
07:03 AM ET
2 years ago

Senate passes package to avert fiscal cliff; House votes next

(CNN) - A full two hours after a midnight deadline, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a last-minute deal Tuesday to avert the feared fiscal cliff on a 89-8 vote.

The Senate package would put off budget cuts for two months and preserve Bush-era income tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 or couples earning less than $450,000.

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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Senate
Obama insisted on sequester buy down in final fiscal cliff deal
January 1st, 2013
02:14 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama insisted on sequester buy down in final fiscal cliff deal

Washington (CNN) - Fiscal cliff negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders involved late-night discussions in the Oval Office and an ultimate hardline from President Barack Obama, according to a source familiar with the process.

President Obama wanted a delay to the massive spending cuts known as the "sequester," but Republicans requested the final deal to include measures to offset what delaying those budget cuts would add to the deficit.

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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
Details emerge in fiscal cliff agreement
December 31st, 2012
09:49 PM ET
1 year ago

Details emerge in fiscal cliff agreement

Washington (CNN) – A deal was reached between Congressional leaders and the White House late Monday night, according to a Democratic source.

The agreement brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was later signed off on by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during calls with President Barack Obama, said a source familiar with the deal.
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Filed under: Congress • Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
Without cliff vote, some lawmakers make other plans for New Year's Eve
December 31st, 2012
07:56 PM ET
1 year ago

Without cliff vote, some lawmakers make other plans for New Year's Eve

Washington (CNN) – After House leaders decided to adjourn until Tuesday without a fiscal cliff deal, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy advised members to stay near the Capitol in case a vote comes up.

It's unusual that members of Congress are in Washington on New Year's Eve; the last time it happened was in 1995. Members generally spend the holiday far away from the halls of the Capitol.

So what are some House lawmakers doing in Washington on the last night of 2012? (And how close are they really staying to the office?)
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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • House
Chief Justice laments 'fiscal cliff' effects on federal courts
December 31st, 2012
06:38 PM ET
1 year ago

Chief Justice laments 'fiscal cliff' effects on federal courts

Washington (CNN) – Chief Justice John Roberts is warning leaders in the other two branches of the federal government that the pending "fiscal cliff" would "inevitably result in the delay or denial of justice for the people the courts serve."

In his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, Roberts on Monday said the federal courts have already made significant cuts in their funding, representing only about two-tenths of 1% of the entire federal budget. He said a prolonged reduction would be extremely hard to overcome.

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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • John Roberts • Supreme Court
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