Fiscal Cliff deal: Congressional battle still expected - New York News

Fiscal Cliff deal: Congressional battle still expected

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WASHINGTON -

It wasn't pretty, but the cliff dive we took on New Year's day has come to an end.  That may be good news for the markets, but parts of this deal are only temporary.

In the end, the late-night vote in the house wasn't all that close. And it was enough for President Obama minutes later to declare at least a partial victory.

"Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest percentage of Americans while preventing a middle class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession," he said.

And with that -- he was gone.

Air Force One had been on standby most of the day to take the President back to his Hawaiian vacation.

What lawmakers are left with in Washington, though, is still something of a mess.

Yes, income tax rates for most Americans will not rise -- higher rates are only for individuals who make more than $400,000 dollars a year or couples who make $450,000.

Big automatic spending cuts that would have especially impacted the Pentagon have been delayed, but for just two months.

And far from the balanced approach the President said he wanted, the deal he eventually backed will actually add an astounding $4 trillion dollars to the national debt over the next 10 years.

And that had many Republicans opposing their own speaker and voting against the bill.

Rep. Darrell Issa says, "There's $4 trillion dollars in new debt and deficit and there's no pay for, and there's no anticipation of a pay-for."

And that lines up the next battle here in Washington.

The President wants Congress to raise the debt ceiling, probably in February, so we can borrow even more money.  Republicans will be looking for some big cuts to go along with that.

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