By David Lawder and Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON Jan 1 The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly
approved legislation to avert the "fiscal cliff" on Tuesday -
two hours after a midnight deadline - by stopping most of the
tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts that were due to
begin with the new year.
After an 89-8 vote in the Senate, the measure now moves to
the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which is
expected to consider it later on Tuesday.
Many Republican House members have already voiced misgivings
about the deal's tax hikes on the wealthy and its lack of
spending cuts. It is likely to need substantial support from
House Democrats in order to pass.
The House is due to reconvene at noon EST (1700 GMT) on
Tuesday to take up the measure. However, House Speaker John
Boehner said earlier that decisions had not been made on whether
he will allow amendments to the bill or hold a straight
Without a deal, some $600 billion worth of automatic tax
hikes and spending cuts will be triggered in the first days of
2013, threatening a new U.S. recession.
"We don't think taxes should be going up on anyone but we
all knew if we did nothing, they'd be going up on everyone
today," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who
negotiated the eleventh-hour deal with Vice President Joe Biden.
"This shouldn't be the model for how we do things around
here, but I think can say that we've done some good for the
country," McConnell said in remarks just before the vote.