Thu December 22, 2011
Reports: Congress Close To A Deal On Payroll Tax Cut
The Associated Press and Reuters are reporting that House Republicans have relented and will vote on a two-month extension of the payroll tax. On Tuesday, the House had voted to move the bill into conference, but the Senate had already left town.
What resulted was another Washington showdown with Senate Democrats — who passed the bill in rare bi-partisan fashion — refusing to negotiate further and House Republicans insisting that a year-long extension was the only way to go.
Citing a "Democratic leadership aide," Reuters reports Speaker John Boehner had informed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he would hold a vote on the measure.
If the House approves the measure before the end of the year, it would ensure that about 2 million Americans will continuing receiving long-term unemployment benefits and 160 million Americans would not see a 2-percent payroll tax hike.
We'll have more as this story develops.
Update at 4:21 p.m. ET. A Tweaked Bill?:
Politico reports that what is on the table is not a simple up or down vote on the Senate version of the bill. Instead, the House would send a "slightly tweaked" version of the bill back to the Senate.