President Obama has signed the fiscal cliff bill that passed Congress late Tuesday night from Hawaii using autopen, a mechanical device that copies his signature.
Of note for the federal workforce: the bill that was passed is not the one that contains an extended pay freeze. That is a separate piece of legislation voted on earlier in the day by the House.
With the president’s signature, the pay raise that would have been given to Congress is now officially withdrawn. The 0.5% raise taken Congressional annual salaries from $174,000 to $174,900.
Other highlights of the bill include:
- Tax rates will rise on income above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for households
- Estate tax increases from 35% to 40% for estates over $5 million
- Unemployment benefits will be extended by one year for some two million Americans
- The payroll tax holiday will not be extended taking the Social Security payroll tax from 4.2% to 6.2%
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the agreement will increase the national debt by $4 trillion over the next decade.