U.S. President Barack Obama signed a controversial USD 858 billion bill to extend tax cuts and unemployment benefits for Americans.
“We are here with some good news for the American people this holiday season,” Obama said.
The White House announced that Obama will sign the tax measure, which won final approval in the House late Thursday night. In addition to extending the tax cuts for two years, the bill adds 13 months of jobless benefits and cuts the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year.
Obama had negotiated the agreement with Republicans, who were crucial to pushing the package through both chambers of Congress, but especially in the House.
The measure is not paid for, and costs more than Obama’s controversial stimulus package that was harshly criticized by Republicans for exacerbating America’s deficit and debt problem.