House Passes Payroll Tax Cut Legislation

On December 13, 2011, the House, by a vote of 234 to 193, passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation bill of 2011. The legislation would extend through 2012 the two percentage point cut in Social Security contributions for employees and 100 percent bonus depreciation for businesses. The revenue offsets come from reductions in government spending for federal employees and restrictions on unemployment benefits. The legislation also includes approval of a controversial pipeline from the oil sands area of Canada to Texas refineries. The Senate is unlikely to accept the legislation in its present form, and the Administration has also issued a veto threat. Senator Reid has proposed to combine a payroll tax reduction and extension of unemployment benefits with an extension of expiring provisions and to tie approval in the Senate to government funding legislation.


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