Obama praises bipartisan leadership on tax deal

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama is praising congressional leaders of both parties for negotiating a 10-month extension of a payroll tax cut and is calling on lawmakers to support the agreement.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, Obama said Democratic and Republican leaders “have done the right thing for our families and for our economy.” The deal had grudging support in the House and Senate, which were expected to vote on Friday.

The compromise would prevent a payroll tax hike on 160 million workers starting next month. It also would extend unemployment benefits and halt a reimbursement cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Obama credited the public for demanding the tax cut. He said: “You made all the difference.”

He said he would sign the law immediately if passed.