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Fiscal Cliff Averted, Debt Ceiling Showdown Ahead

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MANKATO, Minn. -

After a bitter political struggle, late Tuesday night lawmakers approved a bill that prevents a middle class tax hike and delays automatic spending cuts.

A deal was made, but MSU Political Science Professor Joe Kunkel says it falls short of what the president and Speaker of the House were trying to accomplish.

Kunkel says, "The uncertainty still remains."

The measure raises taxes on families making more than $450,000 a year, and extends long–term jobless benefits for a year.

Kunkel says a crisis was averted, but no true resolution was made.

Kunkel says, "We're kind of lurching from one man–made crisis to another."

In Minnesota, Representative Collin Peterson with the 7th congressional district voted against the bill...He wanted a new five–year farm bill to be part of the plan. For the first district, Representative Tim Walz voted for it, saying:

"While I'm disappointed that it isn't the larger, 'Go Big' type deal I have been advocating for, this bill is a good first step and I'm pleased a compromise was finally reached to avert the fiscal cliff."

Adding that the bill is "far from perfect." And that he was "disappointed with the Farm Bill extension."

Now, another showdown is just around the corner. In two months lawmakers will need to reach a debt ceiling deal.

Kunkel says, "And I think that would make this so called fiscal cliff look like a mole hill."

The last time Congress fought over the debt ceiling – America's credit rating was downgraded.

Americans will see some increase in their taxes; legislation did nothing to prevent a temporary 2% reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring.

Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average increase of just under $600.