House, Senate Seal Payroll-Tax Deal

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.