Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Mamie Buoy
Reported: Dec. 31, 2012 9:44 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 1, 2013 10:18 AM EST
Eyewitness News Photo
The Senate has passed legislation to block the impact of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that make up the fiscal cliff.
The vote was an overwhelming 89-8 and came well after midnight on New Year's Day. A House vote is expected before Wednesday.
The White House-backed legislation would prevent middle-class taxes from rising, and raise rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.
It also blocks spending cuts for two months, extends unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, prevents a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients and prevents a spike in milk prices.
A last-minute addition would also prevent a $900 pay raise for members of Congress from taking effect in March.
A Democratic aide says the White House and congressional Republicans have reached an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
The measure would extend Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes below $450,000 and briefly avert across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week.
Vice President Joe Biden was set to sell the agreement to Senate Democrats at a meeting at the Capitol on Monday night.
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