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Press watch: Fiscal cliff deal

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‘The drama over the fiscal cliff in the US ended late on Tuesday when the House of Representatives passed legislation raising taxes for the wealthiest Americans after a topsy-turvy day on Capitol Hill.

‘The bill, reflecting a bipartisan compromise reached earlier in the Senate, passed the House comfortably by 257 votes to 167, but only because it was supported overwhelmingly by Democrats. A majority of Republicans voted against the bill, a blow to the authority of the Republican House speaker, John Boehner.

‘President Barack Obama, speaking at the White House soon after the bill’s passage, said: “Today’s agreement enshrines a principle into law that the deficit must be reduced in a way that is balanced.”

‘Far from ending the country’s budget battles, however, the passage of the legislation simply sets the stage for fresh confrontations in the coming months over the deficit and economic policy.’

Financial Times, 2 January 2013