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Obama: Tax deal could yield ‘millions of jobs’

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says a congressional vote on the tax-cut deal he negotiated with Republicans will determine whether the nation’s economy “moves forward or backward.”

The president again pressed Congress to pass the agreement, saying it has the potential to create millions of jobs. He said if it fails, Americans would see smaller paychecks and it would result in fewer jobs.

The agreement would extend Bush-era tax cuts to all taxpayers, including the wealthy, for two years. It also would continue jobless benefits for millions of unemployed Americans and reduce payroll taxes for all workers.

Obama spoke at a White House event promoting American exports. The president said increasing the market for U.S. products and services around the world is an economic imperative at a time when jobs are scarce.