U.S. House to vote on Senate-passed fiscal bill


U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on fiscal cliff negotiations at the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Dec. 31, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

The U.S. House of Representatives will hold a vote Tuesday night on the Senate-approved bill aimed at averting the so-called "fiscal cliff," local media reported.

Dropping its last-ditch attempt to reshape the deal, the House will vote on the unchanged Senate version, the report said.

The plan, which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the Democrat-led Senate in the early hours of the new year, would extend current tax rates for most American households and postpone the automatic spending cuts for two months.

A House endorsement would give the final congressional approval to the bipartisan compromise.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner met with rank-and-file GOP lawmakers to gauge support for the plan, as Vice President Joe Biden tried to sell the deal among the House Democrats.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said earlier in the afternoon that he did not support the bill.

Brendan Buck, spokesman for Boehner, said the "the lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today's meeting."

The House Republicans had earlier considered to amend the bill by adding about 300 billion dollars in spending cuts over the next decade, but they finally moved toward a up-or-down vote on the "fiscal cliff" bill.

A senior Republican was quoted as saying that he expected the bill would win approval in the House with bipartisan support.

Strictly speaking, the United States has technically gone over the "cliff" since the Congress failed to pass a deal before the Dec. 31 deadline.

With the financial market and government offices closed on the New Year holiday, the impact of falling off the "cliff" would be minimal.