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For the past several months, House Republicans have insisted that any extension of existing payroll-tax rates be offset with spending cuts to keep the program deficit-neutral.

This week, GOP leaders changed that position and will now allow the tax rates to continue and add to the deficit. In exchange, Republicans are now trying to reduce the number of weeks Americans may collect unemployment benefits.

“It’s extended to 99 weeks, it’s a record level and we’ve spent $180 billion in tax dollars to provide those benefits,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.

He explains why the Republican leaders changed strategies, how much progress the GOP really thinks it can make on jobless benefits and what he makes of the Obama budget.

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