I guess we'll see if the House follows suit now that their Republican members can safely vote yes on a deal and not feel like they're beholden to St. Grover and his no-tax pledge. Senate approves Biden-McConnell fiscal cliff deal in easy 89-8 vote:
The Senate early on New Year's Day voted overwhelmingly in favor of a fiscal cliff deal that would extend tax rates on annual household income under $450,000 and postpones automatic spending cuts for two months.
The bill was approved in an 89-8 vote that came after only 10 minutes of formal floor debate and no official score from the Congressional Budget Office. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would reduce federal revenue by $3.93 trillion over the next decade compared to current law.
Five Republicans and three Democrats voted against the bill: Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) missed the vote.
The 89-8 vote puts pressure on the GOP-led House to approve the legislation, though it remains to be seen if most House Republicans will back a bill that would add to the deficit and lacks the deep spending cuts that conservatives have been calling for.
A 90-minute meeting of Senate Democrats ending shortly before midnight sealed the deal negotiated between Vice President Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). The passage of the bill is a significant victory for Biden, who might run for president in 2016, and McConnell, who is up for reelection next year.
The legislation would permanently extend the Bush-era income tax rates on individual income up to $400,000 and family income up to $450,000. It permanently sets the estate tax rate at 40 percent, up from 35 percent, and exempts inheritances below $5 million. Read on...
Lots of more detail in The Hill post above. I'm sure we'll have it too, once we learn more about the bill that just passed, and updates if the House approves it. Stay tuned.