Obama To Sign Tax Bill Today - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama To Sign Tax Bill Today

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama plans to sign an $858 billion tax deal into law on Friday afternoon.

The House of Representatives gave final approval late Thursday night to the deal, negotiated by the White House and top Senate Republicans. The final vote of 277-148 had almost equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans in support.

The package includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire December 31. It also would extend unemployment benefits for 13 months, cut the payroll tax by 2 percentage points for a year, restore the estate tax at a lower level and continue a series of other tax breaks.

The bill, which cleared the Senate 81-19 on Wednesday, passed despite objections from both the left and the right. However, the pending expiration of the lower tax rates dating back to 2001 created a deadline that forced both sides to accept provisions they had long opposed.

Obama and congressional Democrats yielded in their opposition to extending the lower tax rates to wealthy Americans and also agreed to a lower estate tax than had been scheduled to take effect. In return, Republicans led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to extending unemployment benefits along with the payroll tax cut and other tax breaks that conservatives generally oppose as government stimulus measures.

Senate Republicans insisted on all taxpayers getting the same treatment. They used filibusters to block Democratic measures that would have limited the extended tax cuts to individuals earning less than $200,000 a year and families earning less than $250,000 a year, and then those earning less than $1 million a year.

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