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House, Senate Approve Payroll-Tax Cut Extension

Agnus Dei Farrant |
December 23, 2011 | 12:26 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

House Speaker John Boehner (photo courtesy of Creative Commons).
House Speaker John Boehner (photo courtesy of Creative Commons).
The House and Senate approved a two-month payroll-tax cut extension to 160 million workers Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

House Speaker John Boehner agreed to the extension after nearly a weeklong impasse and pressure from within his own Republican Party.

The $33 billion package will avoid a cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients, keep in place a 2 percentage point cut in the payroll tax and prevent almost 2 million unemployed people from losing jobless benefits averaging $300 a week, the Associated Press reported.

A provision was included that President Obama must decide whether to approve construction of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline within 60 days, a decision he had wanted to put off until after the 2012 election.

According to The Wall Street Journal, all sides committed to negotiating early next year on a year-long tax break extension.




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