It\’s finally done.
The U.S. House of Representatives, after a very long day on New Year\’s Day, voted 257 to 167 for the fiscal cliff deal that had been previously approved by 89 to 8 in the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Dick Blumenthal of Connecticut issued a statement after the deal had passed in that chamber with bipartisan support.
“I’m frustrated and unhappy that we couldn’t reach a better solution much sooner, but this deal is better than no deal at all,\’\’ Blumenthal said. \”Avoiding the fiscal cliff protects the nation’s middle class – including 1.4 million families in Connecticut – from steep severely damaging tax hikes, and preserves unemployment insurance for 43,000 laid-off workers in Connecticut. These points and others are vital to continued economic growth and job creation – in short, saving the economy from slipping back into recession. Also important, it avoids for now, slashing arbitrary spending cuts that would particularly damage defense spending, endangering our national security, and Connecticut’s defense industry jobs.\’\’
“We do need to address our national debt with smart spending cuts and revenue increases by closing loopholes and special breaks, and reducing health care costs – a balanced approach in a larger agreement early in the new year. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our seniors and most vulnerable. We need to make a New Year’s resolution to change the way business gets done in Washington.”
Later in the U.S. House, longtime member Charlie Rangel went to the floor at about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday to complain that the House would not be approving the emergency money for relief from Hurricane Sandy.