Dec. 22, 2011Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) holds a news conference to announce that he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had negotiated deal on the payroll tax cut. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner says he has reached agreement with the Senate to renew the payroll tax cut before it expires Dec. 31.
The Ohio Republican said in a statement Thursday that he expects to pass a new bill by Christmas that would renew the tax break for two months while congressional negotiators work out a longer-term measure that would also extend jobless benefits for millions of Americans and prevent doctors from absorbing a big cut in Medicare payments.
The GOP retreat ends a tense standoff in which Boehner's House Republicans came under intense pressure to agree to the short-term extension.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.