Nightly News | November 22, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: that special congressional deficit committee, the so-called supercommittee, failed to come to a deal, it looks like Congress is willing to compromise on at least a few things that Americans might notice. Our report on that from NBC 's Kelly O'Donnell .
KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Out of the dysfunction of the failed supercommittee that did nothing about the country's long-term debt, today a glimmer of bipartisan agreement on two issues that could directly affect your wallet. Unemployment benefits are about to run out for about two million out of work, and this year's payroll tax cut is about to expire.
President BARACK OBAMA: We can't let that happen, not right now. It would be bad for the economy. It would be bad for employment.
O'DONNELL: Today the president pushed hard to extend that tax cut into next year.
Pres. OBAMA: If Congress refuses to act, the middle class families are going to get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time.
O'DONNELL: Conservative and tea party groups agreed.
Mr. TIM PHILLIPS (Americans for Prosperity): Extend it. Extend. Absolutely. Now is not the time to raise any taxes. Frankly, I don't think there ever is a time.
O'DONNELL: One hundred twenty-one million families got that break. For those earning $50,000, a 2 percent cut in payroll taxes saves about $1,000. Today, House Speaker John Boehner responded to President Obama , "We stand ready to have an honest and fruitful discussion with him regarding the payroll tax extension." What's the hitch? It will cost the government an estimated $170 billion. That sets up a fight coming after Thanksgiving , when Congress will either have to add more debt or find enough spending cuts to make this potential bipartisan agreement stick. Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News, Washington.