After the Senate passed a fiscal cliff bill all eyes were on the U.S. House Tuesday night to see if they would follow suit. After a lot of debate the House did pass the Senate's fiscal cliff bill. For the most part the House vote came down along party lines Tuesday night. The final vote was 257-167. 172 Democrats voted yes and 16 Democrats voted no; 85 Republicans voted yes and 151 Republicans voted no. House Speaker John Boehner was among the Republicans voting for the measure. The Senate passed the bill less than 24 hours earlier. If the House did not pass this Senate bill the Bush-era tax cuts that were set last decade would have expired fully and broad tax increases would have kicked in. Also big cuts would have been made to domestic and military spending. Many people were concerned all of this would have hurt the economy, possibly sending the country back into a recession. There was also a concern going over the "fiscal cliff," could have driven up the unemployment rate as well.
President Obama said a big part of his campaign for President was to change the tax code he felt was too skewed toward the wealthy at the expense of working middle class Americans. He said Tuesday night he was able to achieve that goal thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress. He says he will now sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans while preventing a middle class tax hike that could have sent the country back into a recession. The President says under this law more than 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up. "While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed. Let me repeat: We can't not pay bills that we've already incurred. If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic -- far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff," President Obama said.
Clearly this has been a very tumultuous time in Congress. The Senate first passed this bill very early on Tuesday which then had the House debating the bill late into Tuesday night. Under the plan, individuals earning $400,000 dollars a year or more, and households earning $450,000 dollars or more will see their taxes return to Clinton-era levels. The deal also extends unemployment benefits. Decisions on the controversial spending cuts are being put on hold for two months. Many who voted against the bill are saying it did not go far enough. Many Republicans were upset about a lack of spending cuts in the Bill. Many wanted to add them in but there weren't enough votes to do so. On the other hand many in favor of this bill say the country could not afford not to pass this bill. Many also say this is not a permanent fix it's really just the start of an answer to a much bigger problem. Many members of Congress say there is a lot of work to be done in 2013. The new congress is sworn in on Thursday.
After his address, the President headed back to Hawaii to rejoin his family. He's said when the bill gets to his desk, he'll sign it.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center. The city required 60% of voters to approve the bond to pass; only 50.9 voted yes. Canton financial officer Kyle Cwach said 412 votedMore >>
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 7:27 PM EST2013-12-09 00:27:01 GMT
Pope Francis has made some waves since his election. Father Charles Cimpl from St. Michael's Parish in Sioux Falls said, "I think we've seen that as he's gone out to kiss children and kiss even guys andMore >>
Pope Francis has made some waves since his election. Father Charles Cimpl from St. Michael's Parish in Sioux Falls said, "I think we've seen that as he's gone out to kiss children and kiss even guys and women who were deformed and even pray for them and has just caught the world on fire with his enthusiasm for people and listening to people."More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 2:36 PM EST2013-12-08 19:36:00 GMT
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The third-ranking official in the U.S. Department of Justice says he's coming to the Dakotas to listen and learn about ways to improve public safety for tribal nations. U.S. AssociateMore >>
The third-ranking official in the U.S. Department of Justice says he's coming to the Dakotas to listen and learn about ways to improve public safety for tribal nations.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 2:32 PM EST2013-12-08 19:32:22 GMT
HOWARD, S.D. (AP) - Officials say Donnerite Inc., a Minnesota-based company, will be expanding its operations to the eastern South Dakota city of Howard. Donnerite operates a truck and heavy equipmentMore >>
Officials say Donnerite Inc., a Minnesota-based company, will be expanding its operations to the eastern South Dakota city of Howard.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 2:30 PM EST2013-12-08 19:30:07 GMT
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Some lawmakers and health care groups plan to ask the South Dakota Legislature to expand the state's Medicaid program over Gov. Dennis Daugaard's resistance. The Medicaid expansionMore >>
Some lawmakers and health care groups plan to ask the South Dakota Legislature to expand the state's Medicaid program over Gov. Dennis Daugaard's resistance.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:25 PM EST2013-12-08 01:25:49 GMT
Authorities in Rock County, MN, have recovered the body of a 58 year-old man just after 9:00 a.m., Saturday. The Rock County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the body of Percy Manning was found in the snowMore >>
Body of 58 year-old man found in Luverne, Saturday. Foul play was not suspected, authorities say.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-08 00:53:45 GMT
It's a $10.5 million proposed bond but it's not coming without opposition. Tuesday, residents who live in the Tea Area School District will be heading to the polls to vote on a bond referendum. IncludedMore >>
The new school would be in the backyard of the Westwood Valley subdivision, a growing area in the Tea Area School District and on the western edge of Sioux Falls. This has the neighborhood divided.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 3:57 PM EST2013-12-07 20:57:53 GMT
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The bitter cold snap across South Dakota has canceled events and increased calls for furnace repairs, but hopes that it might chase away the state's most unwelcome visitors areMore >>
The bitter cold snap across South Dakota has canceled events and increased calls for furnace repairs, but hopes that it might chase away the state's most unwelcome visitors are futile at best.More >>