The $145 billion payroll tax cut deal is heading toward passagein the U.S. Congress as soon as today with bipartisan support,including from many lawmakers who will be voting for ideas theyoppose.

“This is real money that will make a real difference in people'slives,” President Barack Obama said in a statement last night. “Iwill sign it into law” as soon as Congress passes it.

The agreement would extend the expiring tax cut, unemploymentbenefits and doctors' Medicare reimbursements through 2012. Itcontains health-care cuts opposed by Democrats and an increase inthe budget deficit disliked by Republicans, and those policiesalready have prompted many lawmakers to announce theiropposition.

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