Payroll-tax cut pact passes Congress
Washington, D.C., United States (AHN) – Congress Friday swiftly passed a deal to extend the payroll-tax cut through the end of 2012, continue paying unemployment benefits and avoid a steep cut in Medicare doctors’s fee, moving forward from a lengthy fight that had tied up legislators for months.
The House voted 293-132 to pass the measure. The Senate quickly followed with a 60-36 vote.
The move averts a tax increase on millions of Americas and the end of this month.
Under the deal, the tax paid by workers to Social Security will remain at 4.2 percent instead of reverting to 6.2 percent on March 1.
The deal also avoids a 27 percent cut in payments to doctors who serve Medicare patients, and extends through year’s end payment rates for Medicare doctors. The costs will be offset in part by taking $5 billion from a prevention and public health program established under President Obama’s signature and hotly debated health-overhaul bill.
Both parties are claiming victory.
Lawmakers now head out of town for a week-long recess.
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