Late Thursday (December 16th), the US House passed the Obama/Republican Tax Compromise measure on a vote of 277 to 148. 112 Democrats and 36 Republicans voted "no." The bill passed after an effort by House liberals to modify the estate tax provisions failed by a vote of 194 to 233. The Senate had overwhelmingly approved the bill earlier in the week by a vote of 81 to 19.
President Obama signed the legislation on December 17, 2010. The bill (H.R.4583) has now become law the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010" Hopefully, we will end up calling it something simpler, like the "Tax Relief Act of 2010" (TRA 2010).
The generous (but temporary) new federal estate rules are retroactive to January 1, 2010, at the option of the taxpayer. The gift tax rules are effective January 1, 2011. The Act also includes an extension of the Bush era income tax rates and numerous other provisions desired by progressives and/or intended to stimulate the economy. The cost is estimated at $858 billion.
For more information see the Washington Post article "Congress passes extension of Bush-era tax cuts."
The law as enacted in available on the website of the Government Printing Office:
The text of the law, including hyperlinks to sections is available through Thomas: