(WASHINGTON) -- The payroll tax cut extension has officially been signed into law. President Obama put his John Hancock on the measure Wednesday night.
The "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012" renews the 2 percent reduction in the payroll tax -- which was set to expire at the end of this month -- through Dec. 31, 2012. It also extends unemployment benefits for up to 73 weeks.
After some uncertainty over whether there would be enough votes to put the deal into play, Congress passed the bill last Friday.
Obama touted the success on Tuesday, calling the legislation a "big deal" that will will help middle class Americans by providing an extra $40 in their paychecks.
“That $40 helps to pay the rent, the groceries, the rising cost of gas -- which is on a lot of people's minds right now,” he said.
“Congress did the right thing here. They listened to the voice of the American people. Each side made a few compromises. We passed some important reforms to help turn unemployment insurance into re-employment insurance, so that more people get training and the skills they need to get back in a job,” the president continued.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio