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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks to the media at the Capitol about the payroll tax cut extension and other measures in Washington, on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — After weeks of bickering and doubt, Congress delivered a last-minute holiday tax cut extension to 160 million workers Friday along with further unemployment benefits for millions laid off in the nation’s fierce recession and weak economic recovery. It was a convincing victory for President Barack Obama, a humbling retreat for House Republicans.

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