Congress Passes Bill to Avert Fiscal Cliff

After the House of Representatives passed the Senate's version of a fiscal cliff deal, President Barack Obama spoke to reporters. 

The president thanked congressional leaders from both parties for their efforts and he singled out Vice President Joe Biden for his, "great work." He says more than 98% of individual Americans and 97% of small businesses will now see no tax increase. 

But calls this just one step in a broader effort to strengthen the economy. The President says these negotiations have proven he is very open to compromise. 

"We can come together as Democrats and Republicans to cut spending and raise revenue in a way that reduces our deficit, protects our middle class and provides ladders into the middle class for everybody who's willing to work hard," President Obama said. 

Congressman Mac Thornberry voted for the bill but says, "This bill is a missed opportunity to take meaningful action to deal with our very serious spending problem."

But he adds, "Last night was not the last opportunity to fight for reforms and significant cuts." The bill delays automatic spending cuts in defense and government programs for two months and extends long-term unemployment benefits that were set to expire.

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