The Norman Transcript

Headlines

January 2, 2013

Congress staves off ‘fiscal cliff’

House members vote 257-167 for deal

WASHINGTON — Past its own New Year’s deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national “fiscal cliff” of middle class tax increases and spending cuts late Tuesday night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America’s divided government to the limit.

The bill’s passage on a 257-167 vote in the House sealed a hard-won political triumph for the president less than two months after he secured re-election while calling for higher taxes on the wealthy.

In addition to neutralizing middle class tax increases and spending cuts taking effect with the new year, the legislation will raise tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. That was higher than the thresholds of $200,000 and $250,000 that Obama campaigned for. But remarkably, in a party that swore off tax increases two decades ago, dozens of Republicans supported the bill at both ends of the Capitol.

The Senate approved the measure on a vote of 89-8 less than 24 hours earlier, and in the interim, rebellious House conservatives demanded a vote to add significant spending cuts to the measure. But in the end they retreated.

Supporters of the bill in both parties expressed regret that it was narrowly drawn and fell far short of a sweeping plan that combined tax changes and spending cuts to reduce federal deficits. That proved to be a step too far in the two months since Obama called congressional leaders to the White House for a post-election stab at compromise.

Majority Republicans did their best to minimize the bill’s tax increases, just as they abandoned their demand from earlier in the day to add spending cuts to the package.

“By making Republican tax cuts permanent, we are one step closer to comprehensive tax reform that will help strengthen our economy and create more and higher paychecks for American workers,” said Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, chair of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Transcript Party Thank you for celebrating with us

    The Norman Transcript celebrated its 125th birthday with a block party Friday. Hundreds of people, including former employees and loyal readers came by the office to mark the historic occasion.

    July 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • OU grad leads veterans teaching initiative

    The personal rewards of working with America’s youth in the public education system are bountiful and something Teach For America recruits have known since its inception. Now, the highly competitive program is pushing an initiative to ...

    July 12, 2014

  • State education standards raise qualification questions

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With a simple flourish of Gov. Mary Fallin’s pen last month, Common Core was no more. Taking shape in the void has been a pitched battle over who will control the educational standards that replace it....

    July 12, 2014

  • Free fun at Farm Market

    The Norman Farm Market will celebrate its second annual Watermelon Festival today. Free watermelon slices will be served in from 8 a.m. to noon. LaMunyon Carriage Company will provide free horse-drawn carriage rides from 8 to 11 a.m. ...

    July 12, 2014

  • Area students return from paleontology field program

    Katerina Ozment, an incoming junior at Norman North High School, and George Huang, an incoming sophomore at Moore High School, recently returned from Paleo Expedition, a two-week field science experience that included a week of digging for ...

    July 12, 2014

  • Suit brought against magazine

    STILLWATER — A representative of the Oklahoma Fellowship of Christian Athletes has filed a lawsuit against Sports Illustrated, saying he didn’t pay benefits to players on the Oklahoma State football team as the magazine alleged he did. ...

    July 12, 2014

  • Services set for former chancellor Paul Risser

    A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church for former higher education chancellor Paul Risser, who died Thursday at age 74....

    July 12, 2014

  • Golf scramble to benefit Meals on Wheels of Norman

    It’s time once again for the Rivermont Retirement Community Meals on Wheels of Norman Golf Scramble at The Trails Golf Club on July 21. The scramble will begin with a 9 a.m. shotgun start at The Trails Golf Club in Norman....

    July 12, 2014

  • Legislators to explore death penalty alternatives

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislators plan to look at alternatives to lethal injection as Oklahoma’s method of execution during an interim study before lawmakers return for the 2015 session....

    July 12, 2014

  • Community invited to Coffee with a Cop event

    All community members are invited to attend Coffee with a Cop from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday at Michelangelo’s, 207 E. Main Street. Questions or comments can be sent to 366-5300 or coffeewithacop@normanok.gov....

    July 12, 2014