Obama signs payroll tax cut extension into law

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WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama has signed an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut through the end of the year.

The White House said he acted Wednesday, five days after Congress gave the $143 billion measure overwhelming approval, ending a partisan election-year clash over how to pay for it.

Obama signed a package that renews a 2 percentage point cut in the employee portion of the tax that funds Social Security. It also extends jobless benefits and prevents big cuts in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

The payroll holiday extension represents a political victory for Obama. Clinching the deal was a decision by House Republicans to add the cost to the national debt, instead of paying for it with cuts to spending.