Washington (CNN) — After exhaustive negotiations that strained the country’s patience, the House approved a bill to avert a dreaded fiscal cliff — staving off widespread tax increases and deep spending cuts.
The 257-167 vote late Tuesday night included 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans in favor of the bill; 16 Democrats and 151 Republicans voted against it.
Just hours earlier, House Speaker John Boehner pitched to fellow Republicans the idea of amending the Senate-approved bill to add a package of spending cuts. He cautioned about the risk in such a strategy, saying there is no guarantee the Senate would act on it.
But by the end of the night, he was among the Republicans who voted for the bill as written.
President Barack Obama said he will sign the bill into law, but did not say when. After the vote, he flew to Hawaii to rejoin his wife and daughters on their winter vacation.
Had the House not acted, and the Bush-era tax cuts that were set last decade expired fully, broad tax increases would kick in. In addition, $110 billion in automatic cuts to domestic and military spending would take place.