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Lawmakers Talk 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

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This is the last day of the 112th Congress.

Tuesday night lawmakers passed a measure preventing automatic tax hikes from hitting millions of Americans.

But the deal did not include spending cuts and lawmakers will soon be fighting over the debt again.

President Obama landed in Hawaii this morning to resume his holiday vacation.

He left Washington late last night after lawmakers approved a bill that prevents a middle class tax hike and delays automatic spending cuts.

Congress and the White House struggled to get the deal done - and neither Republicans or Democrats seem pleased with the outcome.

Rep. Charles Rangel, (D- New York) said, "Someone stopped hitting you in the head with a hammer and you're supposed to say 'thank you so much for the relief'.

Many voters are upset it took lawmakers so long to reach a compromise.  The measure raises taxes on families making more than $450,000 a year and extends long term jobless benefits for a year.

But the package does not include spending cuts and many Republicans voted against it.

Rep. Darrell Issa, (R - California), said, "I'd like to be speaking for this bill, but I can't."

 Congress steered away from this fiscal cliff at the last minute - but another showdown is just around the corner. In two months Treasury will need to increase how much the country can borrow - and lawmakers must approve it.

The last time Congress fought over the debt ceiling - America's credit rating was downgraded.  The President says that doesn't need to happen again, telling reporters, "One thing I think hopefully one thing in the new year we can focus on is put a package like this together with a little less drama a little less brinkmanship and not scare the heck out of folks."

The President will be trying to reach a debt ceiling deal with a new Congress.

Winners from the November election will be sworn in tomorrow.

 Minnesota's representatives voted  mostly along party lines on the bill - with two notable exceptions.

 

Democrats Tim Walz, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison voted yes, while Republicans Erik Paulsen, Michele Bachmann and Chip Cravaack voted no.

But Democrat Collin Peterson also voted no, while Republican John Kline voted yes.

Peterson had long opposed a short-term extension of the 2008 Farm Bill that became part of the deal. He wanted a new five-year farm bill to be part of the plan.

While Kline voted yes, he called on President Barack Obama to work with Congress to cut spending.