The $900-billion tax package negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders passed a lame-duck Congress and was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 17. The bill’s passage came with a generous dose of rancor.

Many House Democrats were unhappy when it was revealed the deal included another two years of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans along with generous estate tax revisions (providing a $5-million exemption and maximum rate of 35%). An amendment to pull the estate tax portion of the legislation failed on a 233 to 194 vote.

On the Republican side, legislators anxious to cut government spending, and goaded by the Tea Party, were displeased with the bill’s Obama-pushed stimulus spending. In the end, the bill passed the House 277 to 148.

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