House, Senate Seal Payroll-Tax Deal

    US President Barack Obama speaks while standing in front of a monitor with a countdown message December 20, 2011 during a previously unannounced appearance in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC.  Obama on Tuesday warned the "fragile" US economy could be impacted by a failure to extend a payroll tax holiday, and called on Republicans to reverse their refusal to act now. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Mandel Ngan, AFP / Getty Images

    Following President Obama’s video message on Saturday urging Congress to pass a longer-term extension of the payroll-tax cut, the House and Senate reached a final agreement on the legislation Wednesday night, paving the way for votes in both chambers this week. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus announced the agreement late on Wednesday, ending a long day of ironing out kinks and discussing details of the $150 billion measure, which will extend a cut in the payroll taxes paid by most Americans and renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. Though Republicans have fought the issue for months, they are eager to move on so that, come election time, Obama and other Democrats in Congress can’t claim that the GOP was thwarting a middle-class tax cut.

    Read it at Associated Press