Shortly after 2 a.m. this morning, Tennessee senators voted in favor of an agreement to avert across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff, while allowing taxes to go up for some.
Following the vote, Sen. Lamar Alexander issued a statement explaining his support.
"This agreement rescues 99 percent of Americans from individual and estate tax increases in 2013, and then makes these lower rates permanent, providing certainty and creating jobs," Alexander said in a news release.
The senator was one of 89 to support the last-minute deal brokered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. Along with Alexander, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker also cast his vote in favor of the legislation, which will now be sent to the House for a vote.
A total of eight senators voted against the measure.
The $620 billion agreement will allow tax rates to rise on the nation's wealthiest earners, while delaying across-the-board spending cuts, which were set to begin taking effect New Year's Day. Rates will increase for families earning more than $450,000 and individuals earning more than $400,000 in income annually.
According to reports, the deal did not address the debt ceiling and allows the payroll tax cut to expire. It also did not address spending on entitlement programs, an aspect Alexander acknowledged in his statement.
"The Medicare fiscal cliff is still ahead of us, which is why Sen. Corker and I have a proposal to deal with the out-of-control spending that will soon bankrupt the programs seniors rely on to pay their medical bills," he said. "If we don't deal with this during the debt ceiling debate, we are on the road to becoming Greece."
Last week, Alexander announced he would join with Corker in promoting the Dollar for Dollar legislation, which would allow for a nearly $1 trillion raise of the national debt limit in exchange for a combined $1 trillion in reductions to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
At the time of publication, Corker's office had not yet issued a statement commenting on Tuesday morning's vote.
Although U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has pledged to bring the agreement to the House floor for a vote in coming days, details of the timing on the measure were unknown Tuesday morning.
In an emailed statement, Rep. Scott DesJarlais said he would not be supporting the measure.
"This is a totally unacceptable proposal that will do nothing to address government's reckless spending addiction," DesJarlais said. "Unfortunately, it seems that, once again, politics have trumped sound policy. My constituents expect more than this, and I will not vote for it."
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has not indicated if he will support the agreement.