House GOP Agrees to Payroll Tax Cut Deal

John Boehner reluctantly agrees to two-month extension
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2011 3:28 PM CST
Updated Dec 22, 2011 4:43 PM CST
Speaker of the House John Boehner walks to a news conference Thursday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Get ready for a lot of "Boehner blinks" headlines. House Republicans have agreed to a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut after all, reports CNN. "Senator Reid and I have reached an agreement that will ensure taxes do not increase for working families on January 1," the House speaker said today. As part of the deal, the House and Senate will begin hammering out a longer-term extension in January. It's possible that the House could take care of business quickly in a voice vote, meaning relatively few members need be present, notes the Washington Post.

Asked flat out at his press conference whether he had "caved," Boehner didn't quite agree or disagree: "Sometimes it's hard to do the right thing, and sometimes it's politically difficult to do the right thing." He had been under pressure on the right from everyone from Mitch McConnell to the Wall Street Journal editorial board to strike a deal. (Read more payroll taxes stories.)

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