President wins big on payroll tax agreement

The US Congress yesterday approved a two-month renewal of payroll tax cuts for 160 million American workers and unemployment benefits for millions, handing President Barack Obama a convincing victory for his jobs agenda.

The votes, approving the measure by the Senate and House, capped a retreat by House Republicans who had insisted that a full-year bill was the only way to prevent a tax increase on 1 January.

The payroll tax cut was the centerpiece of a drive for jobs legislation that seems to have contributed to an uptick in Obama's poll numbers – and taken a toll on congressional Republicans. House Republicans were under fire from their constituents and Republican establishment figures incensed that they would risk losing the tax cut issue to Democrats.

AP

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