Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a summary of the payroll tax cut bill that recently caused so much hand wringing in Congress. The bill that was passed was pretty much what was suggested at the beginning of the negotiations (except for the two-month limit).
The Daily Caller reports:
—Retains through Feb. 29 the current 4.2 percent rate for Social Security payroll taxes paid by 160 million workers, instead of letting the rate rise to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1.
—Renews federal benefits averaging $300 a week for the long-term unemployed through Feb. 29.
—Prevents 27 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors; extends other health care fees through Feb. 29.
—Requires President Barack Obama to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas within 60 days unless he declares the project would not serve the national interest.
—Price tag of $33 billion. Paid for by increasing home loan guarantee fees charged to mortgage lenders by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration by one-tenth of 1 percentage point. The fee is passed on to home buyers and will apply to many new purchases and refinancings starting Jan. 1. For a $200,000 mortgage, the fee increases a borrower’s cost by about $17 a month.
—Requires House and Senate leaders in both parties to name negotiators to work on a bill extending the payroll tax cut for a year, extend federal jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and keep Medicare payments to doctors at their current level.
I guess I am wondering why we need a committee to extend the bill for a year. The gang of twelve didn’t work out too well, so why are we doing this again?