Last minute votes save payroll tax cut extension

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 11:54am

Congress has approved an early Christmas present for 160-million American workers.

Both the House and Senate have passed a two-month extension to the payroll tax cut.

In less than two minutes the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent, a procedure where Senators could stay home while the vote went through.

After days of gridlock, the House followed.

"This is a good day for the American people and the american people voice was heard their concerns were heard and we have responded," said Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer.

House Speaker John Boehner caved late Thursday after pressure from the president, Democrats and finally the heads of his own party, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

With millions of cash-strapped Americans needing these benefits, and millions more depending on unemployment benefits to continue, House Republicans were taking a public beating.

The bill goes to the president to be signed into law.

The president has said he will work with Congress on a year-long tax cut extension, but for now he's off to Hawaii to join his family for the holiday break.

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