Congress Passes Payroll Tax Cut Deal
The Senate and the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan deal Friday extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits while also avoiding a Medicare fee cut for doctors for the rest of the year.
The bill cleared the Senate in a 60-36 vote less than an hour after the House approved it by a 293-132 margin.
A majority of House Republicans and Democrats voted in favor of the bill, though 91 Republicans and 41 Democrats in the chamber voted no. Senate Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the bill while Senate Republicans largely opposed it.
President Barack Obama has promised to sign the legislation as soon as it reaches his desk, ending debate on the politically sensitive measures at least for the duration of the election.
The roughly $100 billion payroll tax cut, a key part of Obama’s economic recovery plan, has reduced how much 160 million American workers pay into Social Security on their first $110,100 in wages. Instead of paying in 6.2%, they’ve been paying 4.2% for the past year and two months — a break worth about $83 a month for someone making $50,000 a year.