Written by Craig Smullin, Posted: Fri, February 17 2012 at 2:47 PM, Updated: Fri, February 17 2012 at 2:57 PM
A rare bipartisan deal in Congress will keep payroll taxes from going up for 160-million Americans... but adds $100-billion dollars to the deficit.
The tax cut extension passed the Senate and the House today.
For a worker earning $50,000 a year... the tax cut boosts take-home pay by $1000.
"This agreement shows the American people that Congress can govern and Washington can work."
The deal extends the current 2- percent cut in payroll taxes through 2012 to keep the rate at 4.2 percent.
It also renews 300-dollar a week jobless benefits.
"This was an important thing to do and the American people overwhelmingly supported it."
It drops down to 63 weeks of unemployment... it's currently at 73.
One option allows states to drug test. That's only if the person failed or refused an employers drug test.
That's not currently legal in Oregon and would require legislation.
"That'll be debated of course just like all bills, voted on and if the Legislature passes it and the Governor signs it then we would look at how the implementation would take place."
Also in this hotly debated measure--many of those opposed to the bill are worried about the decreased money going into Social Security.
"I don't wanna pretend that it's gonna create economic growth and jobs because I really don't think it will."
The lost revenue for Social Security benefits will be replaced by drawing money out of general tax revenue, adding to the budget deficit.
The tax cut extension now heads to the White House... President Obama has already said he will sign it right away.
Craig Smullin co-anchors NBC5 News at 6 and hosts the 5 on 5 Feature Interview on NBC5 News at 5. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Craig graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California with a degree in Recreation Administration and Sports Management.
Since joining NBC5 News in 2005, Craig has performed virtually every job in the newsroom: News and Sports Reporter, Sports Anchor, Producer, series and segment Host and Anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and NBC5 News at 5. When he's not reporting news, Craig spends time with his wife, young son and two dogs. He is a dedicated fan of the San Francisco 49ers and Portland Trailblazers and loves snow boarding the slopes of Mt. Ashland.