obama & boehner (at table)*(Via CBS News) – As revelers in Times Square and cities and towns across the country wait for the ball to drop to ring in the new year, politicians in Washington have announced that a ball is not likely to drop on the average taxpayer. Negotiators have come to an agreement on the so-called “fiscal cliff” – and with less than three hours to spare, CBS News has confirmed.

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Capitol Hill to brief Senate Democrats on the details of the deal; both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have signed off on the agreement, White House and congressional sources told CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett.

Now that lawmakers have settled on a deal, it’s unclear when the Senate will vote but it’s expected that if it passes, the House will vote tomorrow at the earliest.

What this means is that although the country will technically go over the “cliff” at midnight, the agreement – if passed by both houses of Congress – guarantees any detrimental impact from the “cliff” will be avoided, even if a vote happens after midnight, as language will likely be added to the final legislation that would make the changes retroactive.

Get the details and specifics of the deal at CBS News.