Divided US Congress approves fiscal cliff measure

The House voted 257 to 157 early Wednesday to send the measure to President Obama for his signature less than 24 hours after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation. The deal staves off the harshest and most immediate consequences of the “fiscal cliff.” It extends income tax cuts for household income up to $450,000, with rates rising to 39.6 percent on income above that level and allows taxes on capital gains and dividends to go up. Expanded unemployment insurance will be continued through 2013, while automatic spending cuts are delayed for two months. The motion was carried in the lower house by 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans who were divided over the deal.


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