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Senate lawmakers on Saturday voted overwhelmingly to extend the payroll tax cut by another two months, after both sides were unable to reach a comprehensive agreement to extend the cuts and unemployment benefits for a full year.
The measure is the latest in a series of last ditch temporary fixes, postponing another legislative showdown between lawmakers until February, when the bill’s provisions are set to expire.
President Barack Obama told reporters that he was pleased with Saturday’s vote, which passed 89-10, but added that extending the cuts and assistance through next year should be considered just a “formality.”
To do otherwise, he said, would be “inexcusable.”
Still, it’s unclear if lawmakers, mindful of upcoming elections, can reach a broader agreement that would include a full year of cuts and benefits.