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House-Senate negotiators agree to extend cut, jobless benefits and Medicare doctor payments

Jennifer Steinhauer, NYT NEWS SERVICE

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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Kelly Cunningham, economist with National University’s Institute of Policy Research, said he was surprised that the decision on the extension was made so quickly, especially after Congress had such a loud and protracted battle over the same issue late last year, postponing its final decision until now because it could not meet a year-end deadline.
He said the action reflects how challenging the recovery from the recession has been and how far the nation has to go to get back to normalcy.
“Given the weakness of the economy, this seems like a step that has to be taken,” he said.