The U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday evening approved legislation that will extend the Bush-era tax cuts and jobless benefits. The legislation was a compromise effort between the White House and Republicans brokered so that some of the President’s initiatives could pass before the Republican house majority takes over in January.
In a 277-148 vote minutes before midnight Congressmen voted to extend the tax cuts for two more years for all income levels, reduce payroll taxes by 2% and continues long-term unemployment benefits for 13 months.
The tax cuts were due to expire January 1. Republicans promised to block or ignore any other legislation like the DREAM Act or repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, until the tax bill was voted on and passed. The massive bill is expected to add $814 billion to the deficit.
A vote date for the DREAM Act during the lame duck session of Congress has yet to be announced.