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Obama claims tax deal will help middle class

By The Associated Press
December 18, 2010

President Barack Obama walks off stage after signing the $858 billion tax deal into law in a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama says a tax cut package that’s about to become law will give a much-needed holiday-season boost to middle class Americans and spur the ailing economy.

The president called the deal “real money that’s going to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Obama spoke Friday before signing the $858 billion bill that retains Bush-era tax rates for all, while extending unemployment benefits and cutting the Social Security tax.

The president negotiated the deal with Republicans, infuriating many liberals. Nonetheless the House passed it easily late Thursday, a day after the Senate did the same. A rare bipartisan assembly of lawmakers joined Obama for the signing ceremony at the White House.

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