Senate Passes Payroll-Tax Cut Extension

The two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut passes in a nearly unanimous vote.

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The Senate today voted overwhelmingly to extend the payroll-tax cut for two more months.

While the issue of extending unemployment benefits and tax cuts deep into 2012 is still up in the air, the White House and Senate Republicans and Democrats proclaimed victory with this vote.

"Today is an important day for our country," said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, as he explained from the Senate floor Saturday why his chamber would be voting on a bill, conceived Friday in private between Senate leaders, to extend the tax for only two months. "We are doing today exactly what the Founding Fathers thought we would do," he said, adding that passage of the bill is "an accomplishment important for the American people."

The measure contains a provision demanded by Republicans to pressure the White House into approving construction of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that promises thousands of jobs.

The two-percentage-point tax cut will affect 160 million taxpayers. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said that Obama would sign the two-month extension measure, saying that it had met his test.

Read more at the New York Times.

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