House Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension

The US House of Representatives will approve today a two-month extension of the payroll tax that puts an extra $40 per paycheck in the average American’s pocket.

The New York Times reports that House Republicans, who “rejected an almost identical deal on Tuesday… collapsed under the political rubble that has accumulated over the week, much of it from their own party, worried that the blockade would do serious damage to their appeal to voters.”

House speaker John Boehner told reporters “that it might not have been ‘politically the smartest thing in the world’ for House Republicans to put themselves between a tax cut and the 160 million American workers who would benefit from it, and to allow President Obama and Congressional Democrats to seize the momentum on the issue,” the Times said.

The cuts are now only extended through Feb. 29, and also extend unemployment benefits through that date. Congress will now form a committee to work on extending these benefits through all of 2012.