North Shore members of Congress joined forces in unusual ways Tuesday to help the country avoid the fiscal cliff after weeks of drama, threats and fear as the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted New Year's Day to avert higher taxes for most Americans.
After the Senate made its move in the wee hours of the day with an 89-8 tally, the House voted late Tuesday, 257-167, to pass the measure with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) and Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) on the same side for one of the few times in the 112th Congress.
Earlier: What falling off the fiscal cliff could cost you?
That heads off tax increases for about 99 percent of Americans, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Dold joined only 89 other Republicans—and 167 Democrats—of the 241 in the lower chamber to help American families earning less than $450,000 and individuals making less than $400,000 pay fewer taxes in the new year.
“We are keeping rates low” for most U.S. workers,” Dold said in a Chicago Sun-Times story. “I do hope that there are going to be other opportunities to talk about reining in spending because we have to do that.”
Schakowsky was also pleased most Americans will not feel the pinch of higher taxes, according to the Sun-Times. “We stopped taxes going up for 98 percent of Americans,” she said in the Sun Times. “We asked the rich to pay more. For the first time in 20 years, Republicans are being forced to vote for higher taxes. This is a good deal.”
Dold also spent much of the day chairing debate on the House floor while Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was closeted in meetings. The bipartisan vote needing more Democrats than Republicans for passage may have been Dold’s last.
Rep. elect Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) will take Dold’s place representing the 10th Congressional District when the 113th Congress is sworn in Thursday.
The deal means there will not be spending cuts on programs, such as Medicare, that benefit middle-class and lower-income earners, the San Jose Mercury News reported.