The Fiscal Cliff Deal’s Impact on Clean Energy - Contains key tax provisions for renewable energy but funding for USDA energy programs is left out

Capping weeks of intense negotiations between the Obama Administration and Congressional leaders to avert the fiscal cliff, the House of Representatives late on the night of Jan. 1 passed HR 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, on vote of 257-167. The Act was passed by the Senate, 89-8, in a similar late night vote on Dec. 31, so it now goes to President Obama for his signature.

The Act is not a “grand bargain” or a comprehensive solution: sequestration—the automatic spending cuts Congress imposed on itself--has been postponed for only two months to give time for further negotiations. The Act allows federal tax rates to rise on those making over $400,000 ($450,000 for married couples) but also limits the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax on 4 million taxpayers. The Act also includes a one-year extension of emergency unemployment benefits and a one-year extension of provisions to prevent doctors' payments from Medicare from being cut.

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