Senators Got 154-Page 'Fiscal Cliff' Bill 3 Minutes Before Voting on It

January 2, 2013 - 1:42 PM

reid, mcconnell

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Senate voted 89-8 to approve legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff despite having only 3 minutes to read the 154-page bill and budget score.

Multiple Senate sources have confirmed to CNSNews.com that senators received the bill at approximately 1:36 AM on Jan. 1, 2013 – a mere three minutes before they voted to approve it at 1:39 AM.

The bill is 154-pages and includes several provisions that are unrelated to the fiscal cliff, including repealing a section of ObamaCare, extending the wind-energy tax credit, and a rum tax subsidy deal for Puerto Rican rum makers.

The bill avoids the fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts for individuals making less than $400,000 per year and couples making less than $450,000 and by putting off the automatic spending cuts (sequestration) from last year’s debt ceiling deal until March.

Technically, those Bush tax rates had expired at midnight on Dec. 31, 2012 and the spending cuts were scheduled to take place when the government reopened following the New Year’s Day holiday.