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UPDATE: Bipartisanship works in Washington. Congress has completed a deal to extend the payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment benefits for an additional ten months. Lawmakers still have to pass the measure and send it to President Barack Obama.

The extension mantains the current cut in the payroll tax rate from 6.2% to 4.2%. That amounts to a minimum of 40-dollars a paycheck. The tax cuts and jobless benefits were to expire at the end of the month.

House Speaker John Boehner(R-Ohio) told reporters on Capitol Hill  that “we were not going to allow Democrats to continue to play games and cause a tax increase for hardworking Americans.”

On Monday, February 13, 2012 President Obama spoke about his proposed 2013 budget plan.   In his budget, President Obama will be spending $ 3.8 trillion dollars on education, infrastructure, and plans on increasing taxes on the rich.  Obama states, “Congress needs to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance without drama and without delay and without linking it to some other ideological side issues. The time for self-inflicted wounds to our economy has to be over. Now is the time for action.”

Congress worries that President Obama’s budget overlooks the reform of entitlement program and the federal budget. Republican Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell states, “In short, we can expect that this will not be a proactive budget built to promote fiscal responsibility and future prosperity. Rather it appears we’ll see a bloated budget that doubles down on the failed policies of the past.”

Despite, all the negativity about his 2013 budget, President Obama remains optimistic.  President Obama states, “We can’t just cut our way into growth. The truth is, we are going to have to make some tough choices in order to put this country back on a more sustainable fiscal path.”

These “tough choices” all fall back into the hands of Congress.  Can Congress and President Obama come to a compromise that will benefit the American people?

Stayed tuned for updates…