The House of Representatives sent a tax package to the president late New Year's Day with legislation that also extends portion of the 2008 farm bill.
The House passed the legislation 257-167 Tuesday evening with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in backing the bill. The vote came after a day of caucus meetings and debate within both parties about the pros and cons of the deal. Republicans, though controlling the House, were fractured with 151 Republicans voting against the tax plan, as well as 16 Democrats.
The Senate had voted 89-8 early New Year's morning to pass the tax overhaul, which raises taxes on wealthier Americans.
Though lawmakers missed a self-imposed deadline, the legislation would avoid raising income taxes on 98% of the country. The bill also prevents the permanent farm law from going into effect, thus avoiding the possibility of soaring dairy prices.
Speaking on the House floor Tuesday night, David Camp, R-Mich., chairman of Ways & Means urged passage of the bill, saying the legislation was a step toward tax reform in 2013.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., thanked Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for bringing the legislation to the floor and encouraged fellow House members to follow the lead of the Senate and pass the bill with strong bipartisan support. The fiscal bill would increase the confidence of the markets and business people to help create more jobs, she said.
"This is a very, very strong first step as we go into the new year," Pelosi said.
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