Less than 24 hours after the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved it, the U.S. House passed legislation late Tuesday night to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” but seven Tennessee Republicans and one Democrat opposed it.
The bill, which now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature, averts income tax increases for most Americans and temporarily delays large across-the-board spending cuts to defense and domestic programs.
However, the Associated Press reported most Americans will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013 because the legislation did not renew a temporary 2 percent cut in the payroll tax. That reduction was worth about $1,000 to a worker making $50,000 a year.
U.S. senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both Tennessee Republicans, voted for the bill in the Senate, where it passed 89-8 early Tuesday morning. Alexander and Corker said the legislation, reached after weeks of negotiations between the White House and Congress, “rescues” 99 percent of Americans from a tax rate increase.
But all seven Tennessee Republicans in the U.S. House, including Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, voted against it. The vote in the House was 257-167.