WASHINGTON–The Senate voted 89-9 on a fiscal cliff deal early Tuesday morning in an unusual New Year’s Eve session, sending the measure to an uncertain fate in the House.
“This historic vote protects working families from an income tax increase and spares our economy from a devastating political disaster,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said.
“We now turn to the House and ask them to act with dispatch to prove our government can truly respond in a bipartisan way in the best interests of the people we represent.”
The Senate voted just before 2 a.m. ET as Congress missed the Dec. 31 fiscal cliff deadline.
“This shouldn’t be the model for how to do things around here,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from the Senate floor after a marathon series of negotiations. “But I think we can say we’ve done some good for the country. We’ve taken care of the revenue side of this debate.
“Now it’s time to get serious about reducing Washington’s out-of-control spending. That’s a debate the American people want. It’s the debate we’ll have next. And it’s a debate Republicans are ready for.”
President Barack Obama said in a statement, “Leaders from both parties in the Senate came together to reach an agreement that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support today that protects 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners from a middle class tax hike. While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, this agreement is the right thing to do for our country and the House should pass it without delay.
“…There’s more work to do to reduce our deficits, and I’m willing to do it. But tonight’s agreement ensures that, going forward, we will continue to reduce the deficit through a combination of new spending cuts and new revenues from the wealthiest Americans.
Voting no were senators Tom Harkin (D-Ia.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mike Lee (R-Ut), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Ron Paul (R-Ky.), Michael Bennet (D-Col.) , Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fl.)