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Obama signs payroll tax cut extension into law

(Xinhua)

14:09, February 23, 2012

In this photo released by the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama signs the full-year extension bill of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits into law in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Feb. 22, 2012. (Xinhua/Official White House Photo/Pete Souza)

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama had signed the full-year extension bill of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits into law, the White House said on Wednesday.

The White House said Obama signed the bill Wednesday, a day after he welcomed the agreement of Congress and urged lawmakers to keep on with bipartisanship.

Both the House and Senate passed the full-year extension of payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed last Friday with bipartisan coalition. The package extends a 2-percentage-point payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans and secures jobless insurance for people out of work for more than six months. It also prevents big cuts in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

The passage is seen as a political victory for Obama and congressional Democrats, who have argued that payroll tax cut for Americans could provide a boost to economic recovery.

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