Today's News

Congress Sends Fiscal Deal to President The House late Tuesday sent President Obama a Senate-passed bill that raises taxes on individuals who make more than $400,000 and locks in tax cuts for income below that level. The measure was approved 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting to allow income taxes to rise for the first time in two decades for the wealthiest Americans. The agreement was “a small step forward,” Sen. Bernie Sanders told The Boston Globe. “At a time when we have gross inequality, we can and should do a lot more in bringing more revenue into the government.” 

Vermonters Vote Yes Vermont Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders both voted in favor of the measure that passed 89-8 in the Senate early New Year’s Day. In a television interview on Sunday, Sanders said the deficit reduction debate boiled down to asking the wealthiest people to help with the nation's debt at a time when “we have a middle class that is in significant decline,” the Bennington Banner reported. 

Renewable-Energy Tax Breaks Pass The fiscal deal included a $12 billion extension of a wind-power tax credit and other support for renewable energy. The package’s tax provisions give relief to renewable energy companies from manufacturers building wind turbines to refiners developing facilities to make fuel from wood, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Dairy Fix The fiscal bill that cleared Congress Tuesday includes a provision to avert a sharp rise in consumer prices for milk that could have been triggered by the expiration of the 2008 farm bill. A nine-month extension of the farm bill was added to the fiscal-cliff package. Sen. Leahy took credit. “Thanks to Leahy’s efforts, the bill will continue the MILC safety net,” the Burlington Free Press reported. 

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