"This does nothing about getting the $16.4 trillion debt under control, said Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio.
Republicans made a last-ditch effort to pass more spending cuts, offering to consider the same package of $328 billion in cuts that passed on a party-line vote December 20, but could not muster enough support Tuesday. Many Republicans worried that attaching the measure would never make it through the Senate, putting the entire fiscal cliff deal at risk.
"We don't want to do anything in the House that would create a poison pill for the Senate," said Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho.
Few lawmakers in either party seemed happy with the plan, as the unease Tuesday crossed party and ideological lines.
"This punts the problem," said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. "It just sets us up for more fights."
But few dissenters spoke during the debate. Rep. James Moran, D-Va., said the bill will "set up three more fiscal cliffs," including fights over raising the debt ceiling and the sequester and said "and all that's left is the spending cuts. What programs do we cut and how deep? We're going to look back on this night and regret it."
House Republicans were not pleased that they had virtually no input into the deal, crafted by Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
LaTourette called the plan "a package by a bunch of sleep-deprived octogenarians."
The loudest protests came from the 87 Republican freshmen first elected in 2010, swept into office on a pledge to drastically slash federal spending.
"There is a resignation that the big steps forward my class wanted to take is not possible with this Congress," said Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga. "Only small steps forward are absolutely possible."
Whether he and others could accept such small steps was the key to approving the deal. Veteran Republicans argued the package was as good as they were going to get.
"Let's recognize we avoided what could have been a terrible outcome," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
He urged resisting changes. "It's too late in the game," he said. "You can keep tinkering with this, but you're not going to make it perfect."