Late-night and lengthy negotiations produced a last-minute deal on Capitol Hill, but here in western Virginia it was hard to find anyone ready to celebrate.
We met Diane Faw in downtown Roanoke on Wednesday afternoon. "Any time there's a stalemate in Washington, It's always frustrating," she told us.
The legislation approved Tuesday night prevented the severe tax increases and spending cuts that some experts feared would send the economy back into recession. It made permanent the Bush tax cuts for most Americans and extended unemployment benefits for millions.
But it also allowed a temporary break in the Social Security payroll tax to expire.
David Kembel owns Kembel Tax Service in Roanoke. "Somebody that makes 30 grand is going to have 25 dollars less every pay period than they're used to," Kembel told us in an interview. "That's about 600 dollars a year, 50 dollars a month, 25 dollars every other week."
Kembel says ending the temporary payroll tax cut was necessary to move Social Security toward long-term solvency, but the last minute negotiations in Washington have left plenty of uncertainty for him and his clients.
Normally, Kembel says he would have mailed end-of-year letters to clients of his Roanoke tax service summing up major changes they can expect. The envelopes have been addressed, Kembel told us, but he's still waiting to write the letters.