House, Senate Pass Two-Month Extension Bill
Wall Street Journal: House, Senate Clear Payroll-Tax Accord
The House and Senate on Friday approved a two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, averting an increase that would have left workers with less take-home pay next year. Passage came after a nearly weeklong impasse that ended when House Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) bowed to increasing pressure from within his own party and agreed to the short-term extension (Hughes, 12/23).
CNN: Congress Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension
The measure cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives by unanimous consent, a procedural move allowing the measure to pass even though most members of Congress are now home for the holidays. Among other things, the measure also includes a two-month extension of emergency federal unemployment benefits and the so-called "doc fix," a delay in scheduled pay cuts to Medicare physicians (Silverleib, 12/23).
Los Angeles Times: Congress Agrees To Payroll Tax Deal; Obama To Sign
In a near-empty Capitol building, the Senate and then the House signed off on a compromise plan by unanimous consent, a procedural move that allowed the legislation to move to the president's desk without requiring most lawmakers to return to Washington. ... After Jan. 1, congressional negotiators would meet to decide how to extend the provisions for the rest of 2012. Obama is expected to quickly sign the accord, allowing him to join his family in Hawaii for his traditional holiday retreat in his home state (Memoli, 12/23).
Washington Post: Senate And House Approve Deal On Payroll Tax Cut
Any member of either chamber could have returned to Washington from the holiday vacation and objected to the procedural vote. But despite grumbling from some House conservatives who are angry that their leaders accepted the two-month deal sought by President Obama, none came to the Capitol Friday to do so. Objecting would have meant forcing a dicey full House vote on the issue next week. And any member who sought to block the bill would have been held personally responsible for canceling his or her colleagues’ vacation and, worse, allowing worker’s taxes to rise Jan. 1 (Helderman, 12/23).
Politico: Payroll Tax Bill Passes
The end was quick and painless for House Republicans, who capitulated to President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats after taking Capitol Hill to the precipice of a pre-Christmas crisis that threatened to raise taxes on 160 million Americans on Jan. 1. The compromise measure passed on a voice vote in both chambers quite quickly, and with that, Congress is off for nearly a month and Obama will head to Hawaii to join his family for Christmas vacation (Kim, 12/23).
The New York Times: For Payroll Tax Cut, Next Step Is Obama’s Signature
Mr. Boehner, in a rare pro forma appearance in the chair, presided over the passage of the bill in his chamber, after a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, a roughly five-minute process (Steinhauer, 12/23).
Read additional coverage on the short-term deal in this morning's Daily Report.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.