Last one out, get the lights.
Via The Hill
Senate leaders announced Friday evening a deal to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits for two months, putting Congress on course to adjourn for the year well in time for Christmas.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will consult with rank-and-file members of the House GOP conference before signing off on the agreement, say GOP sources.
The deal includes House-passed language to expedite construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. [...]
The entire cost of the backstop legislation is a little less than $30 billion, according to a senior Republican lawmaker briefed on the deal. It would be covered entirely by increasing the fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge mortgage lenders to guarantee repayments of new mortgage loans, said the lawmaker.
The GOP demand that the administration come to a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days is, apparently, making the cut. If you're going to ask what the hell a pipeline decision has to do with payroll taxes or unemployment benefits, I couldn't begin to tell you, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have been insistent that it's a make-or-break decision, presumably because they can't let any opportunity for hostage-taking go by without some juvenile attempt to stick it to President Obama and Democrats in some fashion.
In exchange, unemployment benefits and the current payroll tax cuts will be extended for two months. Only two months, then we do this all over again.
From the Hill article it seems that the sticking point during the negotiations was, as previously reported, that the tax cuts be "paid for," because these tax cuts are going to working people and not hedge fund managers or other wealthy Americans whose tax cuts emphatically do not ever need to be paid for, according to Republicans.
This still isn't a done deal, however, as after the Senate vote (expected tomorrow) it will go back to the House. The House GOP isn't yet convinced that they've squeezed all the blood from this stone, so its passage there is not assured.