Posted: Jan 1, 2013 5:34 PM by Marnee Banks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Updated: Jan 1, 2013 5:35 PM
Late Monday night, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to avoid going over what has become known as the "fiscal cliff," and both of Montana's U.S. Senators voted in support of the bill.
The fiscal cliff scenario includes several components.
First, the Bush-era tax cuts expire on Tuesday, January 1st, raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year.
The Senate's bill reinstates those tax breaks for individuals who make less than $400,000 a year.
The plan also includes a 9-month extension of the Farm Bill and addresses estate taxes, which were set to increase on January 1st.
Under the plan, inheritances under $5-million dollars will not be taxed; this includes many Montana farms and ranches.
However, it is still unknown whether or not the House will pass the bill since it delays a majority of the spending cuts.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office reports it actually adds 4 trillion dollars to the deficit over the next 10 years.
In a statement released on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D) said, "This deal is far from perfect, but it provides the tax relief Montanans deserve while preventing irresponsible cuts that would hurt our kids and seniors. This deal is not the big, long-term, bipartisan solution to cut our debt that the American people expect from Congress. I'll keep working on a responsible plan to cut our debt without jeopardizing our economy."
U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D) also voted in support of this bill, saying, "My Montana bosses told me, 'Whatever you do, Max, get it done, solve it, don't let us go over this fiscal cliff, get it done.' And we've done that. This will help assure Montanans that we have jobs, help create more certainty and assure that taxes don't go up so, it's not perfect, but it's good."