I know you have all been anxiously waiting to find out the verdict on the $1.043 trillion spending bill and the payroll tax cut extension, which the President wanted both passed before lawmakers went on vacation. Well, just in time!
The House of Representatives passed the $1.043 trillion spending bill this afternoon. The bill now will go to the Senate, where Senate leaders are optimistic that the bill will be passed avoiding partial government shutdown at midnight tonight.
The spending bill will fund the government for another fiscal year, through the end of September 2012. It is unknown if the Senate will be able to tackle the big bill tonight, but the presumption of the bill passing will extend the authorization for government spending 24 more hours in case the Senate is unable to complete the vote tonight.
As explained earlier this week, in our blog “The House Passes the Payroll Tax Bill“, the President called Congress to stay in session until both the spending bill and the payroll tax cut bill passes the Senate since the payroll tax cut measure, a major part of President Obama’s job creation plan, would put $1,000 in an average worker’s pocket and may impact 160 million Amercians.
There is optimism that there will be some way to extend the payroll tax cut bill, which reduces Social Security Tax from 6.2% to 4.2%. Senate talks involve extending the payroll tax cut and some other provisions which are set to expire at the end of this year.
The Senate is still negotiating at this moment on the payroll tax bill due to additional provisions possibly attached to the bill such as the extension of unemployment benefits, the increase in payments to doctors who provide medicare services, and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
It is unknown at this time whether the Senate will vote on both tax bills today, but check back for more up to date information regarding the spending bill and the payroll tax bill.