North America 1 January 2013 Senate passes fiscal cliff deal Bill would prevent middle class taxes from rising. Print HTML Two hours after the midnight deadline, the US Senate voted 89-8 to pass legislation that would block the worst effects of the so-called "fiscal cliff". The bill would prevent middle-class taxes from rising, and raise rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. The vote was the result of a bipartisan deal reached on Monday night to block some (but not all) of the austerity measures due to kick in today. The implementation of the deal now depends on a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, due to take place today or tomorrow. Barack Obama has called for it to follow the Senate example "without delay" and vote in favour of the deal. But since the midnight deadline was missed, the question remains - did the US go over the cliff after all, and does it make a difference? The Guardian thinks so: Technically the US has just gone over the cliff but if the House approves the agreement the economic damage could be fleeting and relatively minor. The goal will be to have full Congressional approval before Wall Street reopens on Wednesday. › Morning Call: pick of the papers Barack Obama. Photograph: Getty Images Caroline Crampton is web editor of the New Statesman. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles America’s domestic terrorists: why there’s no such thing as a “lone wolf” What it’s like to be a Syrian refugee in Paris Does the UK care enough about climate change to admit it is part of the problem?