Senate Passes ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Compromise 89-8

In an 89-8 vote after 2 am, the U.S. Senate endorsed the bipartisan compromise negotiated Monday to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The agreement allows the Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes beyond $450,000 annually to expire, slightly increases the estate tax rate (but also indexes the exemption to inflation), postpones the sequestration budget cuts for two months, and extends unemployment benefits for a year. The agreement does not address the debt limit. The House is expected to take up the compromise bill Tuesday, in a rare New Year’s Day session.