Just a few days ago, Congress was facing yet another deadline, and deadlock over cutting payroll taxes.
But late last night, House and Senate negotiators agreed to extend the tax cut until the end of the year.
The deal also covers extended jobless benefits and Medicare payments to doctors according to Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT, Chairman, Senate Finance Committee.
"A lot of folks who've lost their jobs through no fault of their own, have been receiving unemployment benefits. Seniors haven't been able to see their doctors to get Medicare. It's just good for the country," he told reporters.
There were some last minute disputes over how exactly to pay for the package and talks were quite tense for some while. This is the kind of thing that has brought down so many bipartisan negotiations on Capitol Hill lately.
We understand even the president made some phone calls. In the end they were able to push through and work it out.That means about 160 million Americans will keep this payroll tax cut through the end of the year.
That's the equivalent of about $1,000 in the average American family's pocket.
Republicans were the ones who made the major concessions - that was giving up their long-held insistence that this payroll tax cut had to be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere.
That would have meant that negotiators would have had to find $150 billion in spending cuts instead of $50 billion. They were deadlocked about how to do it and negotiations were going nowhere until Republicans let go of that insistence, paving the way forward for both sides.
So, Democrats feel that that they've won, but Republicans feel that they've neutralized an election year issue - preventing the Democrats and the president from attacking them for holding up a tax cut for the middle class.