The Big Story Blog

House passes payroll tax cut extension

Posted at 9:14 AM on December 23, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Economy

Minutes ago from the Associated Press

The House has passed a two-month renewal of payroll tax cuts for 160 million workers and unemployment benefits for millions of jobless, giving President Barack Obama a resounding victory over Republicans who control the House.

The Senate approved the bill earlier Friday. The measure was passed by voice vote in a virtually empty House chamber despite lingering grumbling from tea party Republicans. It buys time for negotiations early next year on how to cover the costs of a yearlong extension of the two percentage point payroll tax cut, the centerpiece of Obama's fall jobs agenda.

It would boost the paycheck of the average worker making a $50,000 salary by about $20 a week and would prevent almost 2 million unemployed people from losing jobless benefits averaging $300 a week.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.