House passes tax-cut package deal

WASHINGTON

Some House Democrats, especially a liberal bloc, had resisted passage of the tax cuts, an extension from the Bush Administration. Failure to pass the package would have resulted in the tax cuts expiring for all Americans on New Year's Day.

The House passed the legislation with a vote of 277-148. The Senate had passed the legislation on Wednesday with a vote of 81-19.

Major points of contention included resistance by House Democrats to extending the tax cuts to the richest bracket of American taxpayers, and an estate-tax rate of 35 percent, versus a 45-percent rate sought by some Democrats.

Congressional Republicans had held out on allowing votes on any other bills until the package is passed.

An extension of unemployment benefits and an increase in child tax credits, breaks for college students, a series of business tax breaks, and lower taxes on capital gains are also part of the negotiated package.

Some Republicans had threatened to scuttle the deal if the package was significantly altered.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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