House approves tax extenders package

After nearly a week of negotiations, the House passed a two-pronged tax extenders package Friday that includes an extension of unemployment benefits and fix for Medicare payments to doctors. 

The House approved the nearly $116 billion package after dividing it into different parts that were subject to different votes.

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The first part of the bill included a $39.5 billion extension of unemployment benefits through November. The House is not offsetting the cost of the extension with other spending cuts. That portion of the bill was approved on a 215-204 vote.

Only one Republican, Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao (La.) voted for the tax extensions and unemployment portion, while 34 Democrats voted against provisions.

That bill also included $53 billion in tax extensions, a new summer jobs program and $1.15 billion in payments to black farmers who suffered discrimination. All of those expenses are offset with tax increases on investment fund managers.

The second part of the bill costs $23 billion and includes a 19-month “doc fix” that delays a cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors. This part of the bill passed on an easy 245-171 vote.

The Medicare "doc fix" that passed easily lost the support of 15 Democrats but gained the votes of 15 Republicans -- Reps. Brian Bilbray (Calif.), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Steve Buyer (Ind.), Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Vern Ehlers (Mich.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Steve LaTourette (Ohio), Michael McCaul (Texas), Hal Rogers (Ky.), Ed Whitfield (Ky.), Don Young (Alaska) and C.W. Bill Young (Fla.). 

The Senate left town for the Memorial Day recess before dealing with the measures, meaning unemployment benefits for some will lapse next week.

This post was updated at 3:57 p.m.