President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to avert the fiscal cliff, a day after the House and Senate approved the much-debated legislation.
Obama, who returned to his family vacation in Hawaii after Tuesday’s House vote, signed the bill via autopen on Wednesday.
But new battles over taxes and spending await Washington in the next few weeks.
Congress averted that self-built precipice late Tuesday when the House voted to stave off widespread tax increases and deep spending cuts by accepting a brokered Senate compromise. It makes permanent the Bush administration’s tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year and couples earning less than $450,000.
It raises rates on those who make more than that from 35% to 39.6%, bringing back a top tax bracket from the Clinton administration, and will raise roughly $600 billion in new revenues over 10 years, according to various estimates.
The bill also extends unemployment insurance and delays for two months the threat of sequestration — a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts in federal spending.