Fiscal Cliff Averted

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 10:12am

Lawmakers worked late into the night and passing legislation that avoided the Fiscal Cliff, but not without some compromise.

Finally - a done deal! President Obama will sign a law that avoids the fiscal cliff. Prevents taxes from going up on most people, and keeps unemployment checks flowing to two million jobless Americans.

It was a very late night vote in the house - after the New Year's deadline - but right on time for millions of Americans who feared big tax increases this year.

Lawmakers left Capitol Hill this morning after finally avoiding the fiscal cliff.

257 Democrats and Republicans voted for a bill that -

Extends unemployment and middle class tax breaks

Keeps the alternative minimum tax from hitting working families

Avoids a big cut in Medicare payments to doctors

And prevents tax hikes for 98 percent of Americans.

Tax rates will go up for couples making over $450,000 - Democrats gave in on that.

Republicans won a victory by raising the estate tax threshold to over five million.

But that two percent payroll tax cut? It's gone. Expect to see that hit your paycheck starting this month. "Tax relief has been achieved now is time for President to work with Congress to address government over spending," said Rep. Ed Royce, (R) California.

And the Debt Ceiling. Before leaving for Hawaii early this morning, President Obama urged Congress to raise it. "We can't not pay bills that we've already incurred. Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic," said President Barack Obama.

No word yet when the President will sign the new bill.

It's a day late, but just in time for nervous investors as markets re-open this morning.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.
 

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