Congress Passes Tax Cut

9:55 PM, Feb 17, 2012   |    comments
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Congress has passed a one-year extension of the popular payroll tax cut.

The passage marked a rare bipartisan effort.

"This agreement shows the American people that Congress can govern and Washington can work," said Representative Dave Camp, (R) Michigan.

It's an election year win for President Obama and his Democrats.

"This was an important thing to do and the American people overwhelmingly supported it," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

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

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

The deal increases the deficit by $100 billion, a move Republicans vowed they'd never make.

"I don't think it's good that we crank up withholding right now in the middle of this economy, but I don't want to pretend that it's going to create economic growth and jobs, because I really don't think it will," noted Representative Paul Ryan, (R) Wisconsin.

$25 billion will be made up by auctioning public airwaves to wireless companies, who say the increased bandwidth will speed up internet connections.

Part of the cost will be made up by charging new incoming federal employees more for their pensions.

Washington-area lawmakers are outraged.

"These are the men and woman who care for our veterans and many of our wounded soldiers. These are the people in our intelligence community who helped track down Osama bin Laden," argued Representative Chris Van Hollen, (D) Maryland.

The tax cut extension now heads to the White House for President Obama's signature.

NBC Newschannel

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