UPDATE: Congress approves payroll cut tax extension

POSTED: Friday, February 17, 2012 - 8:32am

UPDATED: Friday, February 17, 2012 - 11:43am

THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: Congress has approved the payroll cut tax extension.  

ORIGINAL STORY: The payroll tax cut extension is moving toward a vote on Capitol Hill.

Democrats are crowing, while Republicans are grousing but this is a bipartisan agreement that seems to be holding.

The conference report got signed this afternoon, proving to be a big step.

This deal is done.

House Republican David Camp and Senate Democrat Max Baucus made the final deal in the early hours Thursday morning.

'This is very important for a lot of people. 160 million American's maintain payroll tax cut,' said Sen. Max Baucus.

Federal workers will not have to pay more toward their pension as Republicans demanded.

The deal extends the 2 percent cut in payroll taxes thru 2012 to keep the rate at 4.2 percent.

It renews $300 a week extended jobless benefits for at least 63 weeks, down from 93 weeks and protects Doctors from cuts in Medicare reimbursements.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi gave the credit to President Obama.

She states he created the drumbeat that forced Republicans to make the deal.

'Remember, public sentiment is everything. And the public overwhelmingly supported a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans," said Pelosi.

Republicans had blinked and backed off their demand for spending cuts and are in no mood to credit Barack Obama.

'This is an economic relief package because the President's policies have not only failed they've actually made the economy worse," said House Speaker John Boehner.

The deal got signed Thursday afternoon, both sides smiling even though no Senate Republicans have signed on.

The deal most agree is done.

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