According to White House and congressional sources, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have signed off on the deal agreement to avoid any long-lasting “fiscal cliff” effects. CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett reported on Dec. 31, 2012, that Vice President Joe Biden had “traveled to Capitol Hill to brief Senate Democrats on the details of the deal.”
While a vote on the “fiscal cliff” deal could not be reached before midnight, having reached a deal agreement means that there will be no detrimental effects from having gone over the “fiscal cliff” after the agreement is passed by both houses of Congress. The impact of having gone over the “fiscal cliff” can be avoided since the vote can be effective retroactively.
CBS News reports that “Now that lawmakers have settled on a deal, it's unclear when the Senate will vote but it's expected that if it passes, the House will vote tomorrow at the earliest.”
Some of the deal agreements include:
The current tax rates will remain in effect for all wage earners making less than $400,000 and couples making less than $450,000.
The estate tax will be set at 40 percent with the first $5 million worth of property seeing a tax exemption.
Capital gains and dividend tax rates will rise from 15 percent to 20 percent.
The alternative minimum tax will find a permanent fix.
Doctors will be shielded from a reimbursement gap for treating Medicare patients.
Unemployment benefits will stay in place.
The tax credit for renewable energy companies will be extended for another year.
According to CBS News, much of the pressure to reach a deal agreement before the “fiscal cliff” would reach a point of no return came from middle-class taxpayers.