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Congress: It's a deal

“House and Senate negotiators announced late Wednesday evening a sweeping deal to extend a payroll tax cut, jobless benefits and Medicare doctor payments, overcoming several last-minute obstacles that appeared to imperil the bipartisan agreement,” Roll Call writes. “The fact that the deal had not been posted online by Thursday means House Republicans would have to renege on their Pledge to America in order to hold a Friday vote.”

The Hill: “House and Senate negotiators early Thursday finalized a deal to extend the payroll tax cut, emergency unemployment benefits and the Medicare reimbursement rate for doctors. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the leaders of the committee charged with dealing with the payroll tax cut, told reporters after midnight that a few ‘minor’ details remain to be worked out, but a majority of conferees have endorsed the package.”

“House Republicans stumbled toward a congressional recess Wednesday as Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) delayed his signature highway bill and rank-and-file members grumbled about a tentative payroll tax deal,” The Hill writes. “While the payroll deal appeared poised to pass with Democratic help, the struggle to pass the highway bill, a jobs centerpiece, underscored a rocky start to 2012 for a House GOP hoping to hold its majority in the fall.”