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Payroll Tax Cut Deal Reached

House Republican leaders have agreed to extend the payroll tax cut for two months while a House-Senate committee continues negotiating a yearlong extension that both parties can accept.


This deal, which keeps the payroll tax paid by working Americans at 4.2 percent for now, is almost identical to the one House Republicans rejected on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, presented the plan to Republicans in an evening conference call, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We will ask the House and Senate to approve this agreement by unanimous consent before Christmas," Boehner said in a statement, a move that would allow members to remain on holiday recess, CNN reported.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

The House's bill will include a technical change to resolve a problem businesses faced in processing the two-month extension in paychecks, aides said. The fix will enable businesses to process payroll taxes under the accounting structure currently in place so they don't need to upgrade their systems, a House Republican aide said.

Earlier Thursday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell urged House Republicans to pass the two-month package, MSNBC reported.

President Barack Obama had also challenged the House, yet again, to pass the two-month extension, the Wall Street Journal reported. "This is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. How can we not get that done?" Obama said at the White House. "Has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it?"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement he was happy "voices of reason" prevailed, USA Today reported.