US set to pass payroll tax cut extension

2011-12-23 10:38

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Washington - The US Congress, after months of bitter fighting, is poised on Friday to pass a payroll tax cut extension that President Barack Obama argues is vital to the health of the US economy.

The legislation would continue for two months a 4.2% payroll tax rate that otherwise would expire on December 31 and ratchet up to 6.2% for 160 million American workers.

"I congratulate members of Congress for ending the partisan stalemate," said Obama, a Democrat.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top US Republican, yielded to pressure from Democrats and his party and agreed, with minor changes, to allow a vote on a bill passed by the Senate last week with bipartisan support.

Boehner acknowledged the opposition that he faced in initially opposing the measure.

$1 000 extra/ year per family  - Obama

"It may not have been politically the smartest thing in the world," Boehner told reporters late on Thursday. But he said his fellow House Republicans "waged a good fight".

Obama said: "Because of this agreement, every working American will keep his or her tax cut - about $1 000 for the average family" over the course of a year.

The two-month deal between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House comes after they were unable to agree on ways to offset the costs of a full-year extension.

If both chambers approve the two-month extension on Friday, a new round of negotiations would begin in January to add 10 more months to the measure.

Some last-minute roadblocks could still occur. If any member of Congress objects to a fast vote on Friday, passage of the two-month extension would be delayed, probably until next week.

It was unclear whether any restive conservative Republicans in the House might object to a voice vote, forcing Boehner to schedule a roll-call vote in coming days.

But either way, the legislation is expected to eventually be approved by Congress and sent to Obama to sign into law before the December 31 deadline.

Hammering out the agreement

Last Saturday, the Senate approved the two-month extension in a strong, bipartisan vote. But House conservatives, challenging Boehner, said they would not go along. Instead, they pushed for a year-long extension, despite earlier opposition to any renewal of the payroll tax cut.

Their manoeuvres led some Democrats to suspect that Republicans were simply trying to kill the measure.

House Republicans all week insisted on a 12-month payroll tax extension. But Democrats did not budge, arguing that the two-month compromise hammered out in the Senate must first be approved to ensure no lapse in the lower rate. Then, they said, negotiations could continue.

But with opposition to the House Republicans mounting every day - from Senate Republicans lawmakers to conservative commentators and outside political advisors, Boehner saw no alternative but to relent.

Besides extending the payroll tax cut for two months, the legislation also temporarily continues some unemployment benefits that were set to expire in coming weeks and avoids a cut in payments to doctors who treat elderly patients in the government-backed Medicare health insurance programme.

In one victory for Republicans, the legislation has a provision aimed at forcing a quick decision by Obama on the Keystone XL pipeline project that would run from Canada to the Texas coast.
Read more on:    barack obama  |  john boehner  |  us  |  wall street protests  |  us economy
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.