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As House decides 'fiscal cliff' bill, most workers still get tax hike


The U.S. Senate has passed legislation to block the impact of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that make up the so-called "fiscal cliff," according to the Associated Press.

The Senate voted 89-8 to pass the compromise measure early New Year's Day. A House vote is expected before Wednesday.

Minnesota's two U.S. Senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, both voted in favor of the bill, as reported by Minnesota Public Radio.

The deal ensures that about 12,200 unemployed workers in Minnesota who have already used up their state benefits will continue to receive unemployment insurance benefits under a federal program that expired Dec. 29.

The new deal also means current income tax rates will stay the same for middle-class wage earners, and rise for individuals who make over $400,000 and couples that make over $450,000. Democrats pushed for tax increases for those making $250,000 and above.

Despite the compromise, most of the nation's 160 million workers will still see smaller paychecks. That's because the payroll tax rate -- rolled back 2 percent in 2011 -- is increasing from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. As CNN reports, monthly paychecks will have $50 less for those earning $30,000 annually, and will shave off $189.50 for those with incomes totaling $113,700.

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