Congress Near Payroll Tax Deal

Agreement includes expanded jobless benefits, Medicare payments.

U.S. congressional leaders are “very close” to endorsing a plan to extend a payroll tax cut benefiting 160 million American workers through the end of 2012, said the chief House Republican negotiator.

“We’re very close, but it isn’t final,” Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan said this evening in an interview, adding that “there will be conversations tonight” aimed at completing the deal. “Whenever it’s completed, we’ll sign off,” he said.

Worker Training

The deal would include a voluntary worker training program modeled after one in Georgia that President Barack Obama cited in a jobs speech, the aide said.

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