A bill to extend a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits that Republicans opposed failed in the House Tuesday on a 229-to-193 vote.The short-term bill had passed the Senate on Saturday and would have extended unemployment benefits for two months, as well as continuing to subdue federal withholding from most people's paychecks. At this point, the tax credit will end on Dec. 31, meaning that 160 million middle-class wage-earners' paychecks will go down by about $1,000 per year as formerly higher federal taxes kick back in. According to the Associated Press, House republicans asked for immediate talks with the Senate to try to extend the tax cut for a year, but the Senate's already left town, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "has said he won't renew bargaining until the House approves the Senate's short-term measure." So for now, it looks like an impasse.
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