The House gave final approval Tuesday night to a bill to rescind tax increases for the vast majority of Americans, but only after a day of closed-door debate among Republicans, who were forced to allow a vote on a compromise many in their party disdained.
The final tally, 257 to 167, included most of the chamber’s Democrats and fewer than half of the Republican majority.
The deal, largely negotiated by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), had passed the Senate early Tuesday morning. It blocked income tax hikes for roughly 99% of households, but allowed rates to rise for those with incomes above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.
Buried in the L.A. Times story is the depressing news that ought to be the lede: this crap will increase the debt $4 trillion from the “fiscal cliff” option.
The official cost estimate by the Congressional Budget Office also added to the misery Republicans felt. The tax increases and spending cuts in the fiscal cliff would have sharply reduced the deficit — too sharply in the eyes of most economists. By comparison with those measures, the Senate-passed legislation would make the deficit worse by nearly $330 billion for the 2013 fiscal year, and just shy of $4 trillion over the course of the next decade.
My favorite movie of all time said it best (language warning):
UPDATE: The roll call. My hero Tom McClintock refused to take a bite.