The Senate approved a scaled-down package early Tuesday morning aimed at halting historic tax hikes for most Americans and postponing across-the-board spending cuts, just hours after Congress missed a midnight deadline for action.
The Senate voted 89-8 in favor of the package, which was hastily pulled together after a late-night deal between White House and Senate Republican negotiators.
For the near-term, it appears a tax hike will technically go into effect on Jan. 1, as the midnight deadline was missed. In total, $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts are scheduled to hit in the new year unless and until the legislation is finalized.
But the goal in Washington is to produce a bill that could patch up the problem in the coming days, sparing most Americans from any major or lasting blow to their paychecks.
The bill now goes to the House side, where its chances are unclear. The House is expected to come back into session at noon on Tuesday.