Obama Signs Payroll Tax Cut Extension, Spending Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has signed legislation extending a payroll tax cut for two months. The action concludes an end-of-year drama that split Republicans and threatened a tax hike on 160 million Americans.

He also signed a $1 trillion-plus 2012 spending bill that sets the day-to-day budgets of 10 Cabinet agencies.

Obama acted Friday after the House and Senate approved the tax cut extension, which will maintain the Social Security tax at 4.2 percent. The legislation also extends unemployment insurance for jobless workers and forces Obama to make a decision within 60 days on whether to permit construction of an oil pipeline opposed by environmental groups.

By signing the tax cut extension, Obama capped nearly a week-long standoff with House Republicans who demanded a full-year extension. Under a deal reached Thursday, House and Senate leaders named negotiators to begin working on a longer-term bill.

The spending bill locks in cuts that conservative Republicans won from the White House and Democrats this year. Republicans blocked new federal regulations for light bulb energy efficiency, coal dust in mines and clean water permits for construction of timber roads.

Meanwhile Democrats also declared victory with the spending bill. The White House prevented Republican attempts to block limits on greenhouse gases, mountaintop removal mining and hazardous emissions from utility plants, industrial boilers and cement kilns.

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  • by Mayor Ryan on Dec 23, 2011 at 06:57 PM
    We need a small government. RP is the only one who will cut $1 trillion in year one, and not send it down the line 10 years...
  • by Anonymous on Dec 23, 2011 at 04:13 PM
    Really, this is why I am not concerned about the calls from my credit card company. If the Fed can print money for insane stuff they can print it to cover my bills too. 2012 is not going to be boring.
  • by Nic on Dec 23, 2011 at 01:33 PM
    Where are we getting the money for yet another trillion? Oh yeah, we just get another Chinese credit card.
  • by Nath Location: Colo Spgs on Dec 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM
    How much is one trillion? Well, it takes one thousand million to make one billion and one thousand billion to make one trillion. That's $3,205 for every man, woman, and child in America. Given that 47% of Americans of working age pay no taxes at all... The Keystone XL pipeline already exists, running from Hardisty, Alberta via Manitoba, to Steele City NE, where it splits and goes on to Cushing,OK and Patoka (actually to Vernon,IL). The extention in question would run new pipeline from Hardisty to Steele City on a direct route then use existing pipe from Steele City to Cushing and new pileline from there to Houston and Port Athur, Texas. There are already tens of thousands of miles of pipelines in the U.S. so this would be a minor addition. The economy took a big hit with the radical environmental attachments to the spending bill and on the payroll tax deduction scam... http://americanvisionnews.com/801/the-horrific-details-of Boehners-cave.
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