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Fiscal Cliff Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden gives two thumbs up following a Senate Democratic caucus meeting about the fiscal cliff on Capitol Hill on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON – Hours past a self-imposed deadline for action, the Senate passed legislation early New Year’s Day to neutralize a fiscal cliff combination of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that kicked in at midnight. The pre-dawn vote was a lopsided 89-8.

Senate passage set the stage for a final showdown in the House, where a vote was expected later Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday on the measure, which also raises tax rates on wealthy Americans.