The U.S. Senate approved the bill in an early-morning, 89-8 vote on New Years Day. Both of Georgia's senators voted in favor of the agreement.
Senator Johnny Isakson issued a statement saying
"This 11th-hour negotiation is no way to run a country, but I voted for this agreement because it protects 99 percent of Americans from a tax increase, permanently protects tens of thousands of farmers and family businesses from having to pay the estate tax upon the death of a loved one, and permanently fixes the alternative minimum tax to protect some 30 million households a year from having to pay it. I am also pleased that this agreement reinstates the pay freeze for members of Congress. Now, it is time for the president to get serious about spending cuts and entitlement reforms, and I look forward to enacting significant measures in the coming weeks that will reduce our debt."
Senator Saxby Chambliss released a statement saying,
"The Senate voted on a deal to avoid the worst of the fiscal cliff by compromising on tax provisions and delaying implementation of the sequester. This deal is far from what this country needs, but I cannot in good conscience allow taxes to be raised on all Americans and send our economy into turmoil.
"While I am pleased that most Americans have been saved from an increase in taxes, I won't be satisfied that the Senate has finished its work on the fiscal cliff until significant spending cuts on discretionary and entitlement spending have occurred.
"The president failed to negotiate a deal to reduce our debt, but I, like other Senate Republicans, look forward to the very real opportunity to negotiate substantial, meaningful spending cuts in the coming weeks."
The White House-backed legislation would prevent middle-class taxes from rising, and raise rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.
The measure ensures that lawmakers will have to revisit difficult budget questions in coming weeks as relief from painful spending cuts expires and the government requires an increase in its borrowing cap.
The measure now heads to the House.