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.

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.

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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.