Ending a climactic fiscal showdown in the final hours of the 112th Congress, the House late Tuesday passed and sent to President Obama legislation to avert big income tax increases on most Americans and prevent large cuts in spending for the Pentagon and other government programs.
The measure, brought to the House floor less than 24 hours after its passage in the Senate, passed 257 to 167 with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting to allow income taxes to rise for the first time in two decades, in this case for the highest-earning Americans. Voting no were 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats.
The bill is expected to be signed quickly by Mr. Obama, who won re-election on a promise to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans to force them to pay a larger share of the government budget.
Mr. Obama strode into the White House briefing room shortly after the vote not to hail the end of the fiscal crisis but to lay out a marker for the next one.
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