A deal to neutralize the fiscal cliff cruised through the Senate 89-8 in a late-night session and is headed for the House, whose session today begins at noon. The deal contains the first federal income tax hike in nearly 20 years, but the eight refuseniks weren't all Republicans, the Hill reports. Three Democrats joined five Republicans in rejecting the bill, including Iowa's Tom Harkin, who argued that the bill hammered out by Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell benefited the richest Americans at the expense of the poorest.
"Maybe now we are all believers of trickle-down economics. Not I," Harkin said. The other Democrats voting no were Tom Carper of Delaware and Michael Bennet of Colorado, while Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Richard Shelby of Alabama said no from the GOP side. The delay in approving the bill means the US has technically already sailed over the cliff, but the impact should be minimal if it clears the House quickly enough, the Wall Street Journal notes. (Read more Senate stories.)