While neither side got exactly what it wanted, local leaders say they're satisfied with the tax deal that helped the country avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
The metro-east's two congressmen voted for House legislation averting the fiscal cliff Tuesday night.
U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Belleville), who is leaving office this week, voted "yes" on the proposal to make permanent the tax cuts for all Americans making less than $400,000.
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville), also voted for the measure.
Shimkus said he's relieved to see taxes kept low for the vast majority of Americans under a deal approved by the House of Representatives. While he said he understands that some are disappointed that Congress pushed talks about budget cuts back to March, he's confident that part of the equation will be worked out, too.
"This package will make the (former President George W.) Bush tax cuts permanent for those under the income levels set in the agreement," Shimkus said. "Maintaining the current tax rates is important for both families and the economy."
Shimkus said he believes conservatives can use the leverage of control over the government's debt ceiling to help push for cuts to entitlement.
"A debate is still to come regarding more spending cuts," particularly since this agreement does not raise the debt ceiling as the president had initially wanted," Shimkus said. "I still believe we can have entitlement reform in the months to come."
Sen. Dick Durbin hailed the tax agreement as a tremendous relief to middle class families.
"This historic vote protects working families from an income tax increase and spares our economy from a devastating political disaster," said Durbin (D-Springfield).
Durbin and Shimkus agreed the deal would save middle class taxpayers about $2,000 a year.
An extension of parts of the expired 2008 farm bill was included as part of the legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, according to Shimkus.
He said the farm bill was extended for nine months, which will allow "producers to get into the fields."
Shimkus said he expects the "big spending fight" the end of March to be "of epic proportions."
Congressman-Elect Bill Enyart, who will be sworn into office Thursday, said Congress has "a lot of work ahead this year. Washington was barely able to cobble the minimum together at the 11th hour, and we simply cannot afford to keep kicking the can down the road when good paying American jobs are at stake," he said. "Congress is not doing enough to address the deficit, and do right by people who work hard for a living. I am looking forward to getting started right away on tackling these tough fiscal challenges."
Gov. Pat Quinn praised the U.S. Congress' bipartisan action taken to avoid the fiscal cliff.
"It was encouraging for Illinois and the country to see members from both sides of the aisle step up and find common ground to prevent a devastating fiscal disaster," Quinn said in a released statement. "The historic vote they took will help maintain unemployment benefits for two million people across the country and 89,000 in Illinois, to ensure our economic recovery continues during this critical time."
Additional information contributed by Jamie Forsythe.