POSTED: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 7:40am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 4:15pm
TEXAS — The all-consuming "fiscal cliff" saga came to a dramatic end late Tuesday with a deal that won the support of only a handful of Texas Republicans.
The House voted 257 to 167 in support of the deal, which will prevent large income tax increases on most Americans and forestall the broad cuts to military and domestic spending that were set to take effect Wednesday. The Senate had overwhelmingly approved the bill late Monday night.
All nine congressional Democrats from Texas voted for the bill, but only four members of the Texas GOP delegation — Kevin Brady of Conroe, Pete Sessions of Dallas, Lamar Smith of San Antonio and Mac Thornberry of Clarendon — joined the 85 Republicans who supported the measure. Rep. Ron Paul did not vote.
In a statement, Sessions said he was "pleased to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to make critical parts of our tax code permanent for all North Texans."
The bill faced opposition from conservatives who said it failed to include enough spending cuts. The legislation will raise tax rates on households that earn more than $450,000 a year — marking the first time in two decades that Congress has voted to raise income taxes.
Though both of Texas' current U.S. senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, voted for the bill, Sen.-elect Ted Cruz said he wouldn't have.
"Sadly, the Senate began 2013 by passing $620 billion in new taxes and just $15 billion in spending 'cuts' mere minutes after the bill was drafted," Cruz wrote in a Facebook post, adding, "Meanwhile, the real crisis — spending money we don’t have and jeopardizing our children’s future — remains totally unaddressed.”