House Passes "Fiscal Cliff" Bill

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The House late Tuesday gave final approval to a Senate-backed bill that will let taxes rise for the richest Americans, shield the middle class from tax hikes and extend emergency unemployment benefits, ending Washington's long drama over the "fiscal cliff." The dramatic vote followed a wild day in which the critical measure was assumed for several hours to be headed for defeat because of widespread Republican objections. The vote was 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining with nearly all of the chamber's Democrats. President Obama, whose vice president, Joe Biden, crafted the deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was preparing to address the nation.

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