Both houses of Congress approved a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut on Friday, after House Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), bowed to vociferous and mounting criticism from all sides, including within their own ranks, and agreed not to block the measure.
The vote, which came in pro forma sessions in the House and Senate on Dec. 23, includes renewal of long-term unemployment benefits and certain payments to medical doctors. colloquially known as “DocFix.”
In a video press conference on Thursday night, Speaker Boehner noted that both houses of Congress would appoint conference members to “expeditiously” work out a longer extension of the payroll tax cut.
According to a New York Times report, conservative House Republicans who had originally scuttled the deal were furious with Boehner’s acceptance on Thursday of the new version, which he announced on a conference call with members during which he did not permit discussion of the issue. However, in his press conference on Thursday, Boehner said “our members waged a good fight” over the issue and “were able to fix what came out of the Senate” but that the House GOP would “do the right thing for the American people.”