As legislation that keeps the nation from going over the fiscal cliff awaits President Barack Obama's signature, new conflict surrounding taxes and spending are expected to crop up in Washington in the coming weeks.
In a vote of 89-8 by the Democratic-led chamber, the bill which was forwarded to the House late on New Year's Day, would significantly reduce spending at the Pentagon and other government agencies and give permanence to the Bush administration's tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year and couples earning less than $450,000.
In addition, the deal -- which was brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) -- calls for raising roughly $600 billion in new revenues over 10 years, and extending unemployment insurance. The bill would also delay for two months, the threat of sequestration -- a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts in federal spending.
Meanwhile, with a new Congress convening on Jan. 3, lawmakers will quickly be confronted by the need to raise the federal debt ceiling and, as also reported by CNN, what to do about the still-hanging sequester -- a legacy of the last battle over the debt ceiling, in 2011.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the legislation was sent on Wednesday to the White House. And, although President Barack Obama --who's with his family vacationing in Hawaii -- is expected to sign the bill into law, no date has been projected on when that might occur.