House passes payroll tax cut, jobless benefit bill
WASHINGTON- The GOP-controlled House has passed a bill renewing a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers and jobless benefits for millions more, backing the main items on President Barak Obama's jobs agenda in a rare burst of bipartisanship.
The bill passed Friday, 293-132. The Senate is expected to quickly follow and send the measure to Obama to sign.
Under the bill, workers will continue to receive a two percentage point increase in their paychecks, and people out of work for more than six months will keep jobless benefits averaging about $300 a week. Obama says these steps will aid the fragile recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The legislation also heads off a steep cut in reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients.