|by Susan Davis and David Jackson, USA TODAY|
Hours past a self-imposed deadline for action, the
Under the deal, taxes would remain steady for the middle class and rise at incomes over
Spending cuts totaling
The "fiscal cliff" agreement reached by the
Obama also said the bill takes a balanced approach to shrinking the U.S. deficit by "investing in (the) middle class" while "asking the wealthy to pay a little more."
MORE:Highlights of deal
One set of taxes is set to go up in 2013: The deal does not address the end of the payroll tax holiday on Tuesday. That tax will rise by 2%, back to its 2010 level.
The deal also stops scheduled pay increases for
The agreement also does not address any increase in the nation's debt ceiling, which — combined with the delay of automatic spending cuts — sets up the distinct possibility of another cliff-like budget battle in February.
The omission of the debt ceiling dismayed some liberal Democrats, including Sens.
"He's here to hear members' concerns and respond to them," said Reid spokesman
"The argument is that this is the best that can be done on a bipartisan basis," said Sen.
Biden played a critical role, Feinstein said. "I think it was very important," she said, noting that McConnell and Biden "have a long prior experience" working together. "That's the reason this is bipartisan."
House Democratic Leader
The final details came together hours after
As the day dragged on, negotiations narrowed to a Democratic offer to pay for the spending cuts for two months, estimated to cost
The campaign-style event chafed some congressional Republicans. Obama's 2008 presidential rival Sen.
Down the line, Obama said he will continue to insist that debt reduction be balanced with revenues as well as spending cuts, foreshadowing a second term defined by budgetary clashes with Republicans.
"It's going to have to be a matter of shared sacrifice, at least as long as I'm president," Obama said. "And I'm going to be president for the next four years, I hope."
Obama also cracked a joke about lawmakers: "And one thing we can count on with respect to this
Also earlier Monday, negotiations pivoted on how and whether to turn off the impending
Republicans object to using new revenue to pay for the cuts because it negates the overarching goal of deficit reduction. "Everybody in this body knows that we've done nothing—nothing—to reduce a penny of debt in this country," said Sen.
In a joint statement from House Speaker
It was unclear how much support the package will have in the House, but McConnell spokesman
Biden has proven a late but potentially crucial player in the budget negotiations. Frustrated by his failure to make progress with Senate Majority Leader
The administration's willingness to raise the threshold for higher tax rates above the president's campaign pledge for earners above
"Republicans will have to decide if they're going to block it, which will mean that middle-class taxes do go up," Obama said on Sunday on
FULL COVERAGE:The fiscal cliff
Budget conflicts have been a recurring theme in the 112th
The Democratic president and divided
Such tensions are likely to happen again in 2013.
"When the president said (Monday) that round two is the debt ceiling, he is right," said Sen.
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