On January 1, just before 2 AM, the Senate overwhelmingly agreed to pass a bill that will avert the Fiscal Cliff. The House approved it later that night.
The bill is pretty straightforward. Income tax rates will only rise on those making over $400K (liberals wanted $250K, GOP wanted no taxes to rise). Spending cuts will be delayed for 2 months to give the sides more time to address them.
So why is the bill 157-pages long?
Because when Washington does business and passes a huge bill, there are all kinds of little other pre-existing tax things most Americans have never heard of, but which needed to be extended, that also get into the bill. It's just how it works.