- Associated Press - Saturday, December 17, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a two-month extension of a cut to the Social Security payroll tax and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

It’s a partial victory for President Barack Obama’s year-end jobs agenda.

Democratic and GOP leaders went with just a short extension after failing to agree on big enough spending cuts to pay for a full-year renewal of the payroll tax cut.

The 2 percentage point tax cut affects 160 million taxpayers. The weekly jobless payments average about $300 for millions of people who have been out of work for six months or more.

The measure was approved by an 89-10 vote during a Saturday session.

It also contains a provision demanded by Republicans to pressure Obama into approving construction of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that promises thousands of jobs.

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