Piershale: Key provisions of 'fiscal cliff' deal
The 112th Congress was recently dubbed the “Do Nothing Congress” for the minimal amount of legislation enacted during the two-year session. Two hours after going over the fiscal cliff at midnight on Jan. 1, the Senate voted 89-8, and the House of Representatives voted 257-167 to pass the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 to reverse some of the measures which may have had a severe negative impact upon the economy.
The Congressional Budget Office projects the legislation will add $4 trillion to the U.S. deficit over the next 10 years compared to a scenario where the Bush tax cuts had been allowed to expire.
The Senate bill also sets up what is likely to be an even more heated fight in late February when the Treasury Department must come to Congress to seek an increase in the government's borrowing limit.