The U.S. Senate approved the bill earlier (see Senate Passes Short-Term Extension of Payroll Tax Cut).
According to news reports, the measure was passed by a voice vote in an almost empty House chamber. The two-month renewal will buy time for negotiations early next year on how to cover the costs of a year-long extension of the 2% cut in social security taxes workers pay.
In a press statement, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said, “For the average worker, the tax cut means keeping about $40 in every paycheck. And for those who have lost their job through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline. In very real terms, the payroll tax cut and the extension of unemployment benefits make a huge difference in keeping nutritious food on the table, buying a warm coat, paying a heating bill, and putting gas in the car.
“I very much hope that when Congress returns from their break, that they work diligently on behalf of hard working Americans, and reach a fair agreement to extend the tax cut and unemployment insurance for a full year.”