Our two-month national nightmare has been averted, as 85 Republicans in the House of Representatives late last night joined with 172 Democrats in agreeing to raise taxes on some of America's richest households, while delaying massive budget cuts for at least two more months.
The House vote (that began at 10:45 p.m. last night) to end the "fiscal cliff" came about 22 hours after the Senate voted early on New Years Eve on their version of the legislation 89-8.
Among those 85 Republicans who held their nose and went ahead to the vote was Pinellas area Congressman Bill Young. Young, who easily won re-election for a 22nd term in Congress in November. Even after Young's victory, the liberal activist group FCAN continued to hold demonstrations in front of his district offices, pressuring him to support President Obama's proposal to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the top two percent of the country.
We haven't seen any statement by Congressman Young, but the Republicans were able to get Obama to move his long-declared line in the sand of raising taxes for those making more than $250,000 up to $450,000 (for couples, $400,000 for individuals).
Among those Bay area Republicans voting against the proposal in the House was Polk County's Dennis Ross, who said "This proposal does nothing to address our biggest problem, which is the out-of-control spending that runs rampant in Washington. "
Interestingly, 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan joined Young in voting for the deal, while another presumed 2016 presidential contender, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, voted against the plan.
Guess what a South Florida Tea Party official said about the fiscal cliff deal? CL editor David Warner gives us those unpleasant details.
We've been gone for over two weeks, so it's good to be back. Last Friday we attended the funeral services of attorney and former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride, who died of a heart attack just days before Christmas in North Carolina. He will be missed.