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Congress Working On Payroll Tax Cut

February 15, 2012, 5:56 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Congress Working On Payroll Tax Cut
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A deal extending the federal payroll tax cut is moving through Washington, D.C., two weeks before it's set to expire.

Bills with such timely bi-partisan support have been rare on Capitol Hill.

Congress waited until the last minute to pass a two-month payroll tax cut extension back in December.

"Getting up against a deadline doesn't serve anybody's interests well. What it does is, I think, it causes the American people to question whether or not the Congress is capable of actually acting on a big issue like this," Senator John Thune said.

The South Dakota Republican says he hasn't seen the House version of the bill but the fact that an agreement is in the works two weeks early is promising.

Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken agrees.

"It's a relief we're going to be doing it in time.  Obviously, the payroll tax cut was extended only for two months through the end of February, and it looks like we're going to get that done this week," Franken said.

And getting their work done ahead of a deadline is something that Thune thinks can help restore a bit of confidence in Congress.

"I think it is important that Congress demonstrate to the American people that it can act, that it can do something, in advance of a deadline and actually solve a problem before we get to the 11th hour, which has been the case here at least of late," Thune said.

The legislation the House is getting ready to vote on would not only extend the payroll tax cut through the end of the year, but it would also extend unemployment benefits.

Senator Harry Reid says he's confident the extension can pass the Senate too.

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