It appears that Congress will be able to go home for Christmas after all. They finally struck a deal in Washington and narrowly avoided an automatic increase in the payroll tax rate.
House Republicans, under severe pressure from the White House, have agreed to the temporary two-month extension of the payroll tax cut that just days ago they killed, saying it was not good enough. Well, they are still saying it is not good enough, but they really had no choice but to pass this temporary measure. The trade-off? A conference committee will be appointed to convene in early January to work out a more permanent deal and the possibility of more permanent tax relief.
The stop-gap measure will still include the controversial Keystone pipeline project.
As part of this bill, unemployment benefits will also be extended for two months.
According to House Speaker John Boehner, the agreement should be voted on by unanimous consent before Christmas.