WOODBURY - A tentative deal reached in Congress last night would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits through the end of the year.

The extension is expected to affect 160 million workers, saving the average American about $20 a week, or around a $1,000 a year. The deal also blocks a 27-percent cut in doctors' Medicare reimbursements.

The payroll tax cut was a keystone of President Barack Obama's largely ignored jobs creation plan in September of 2011.

Final congressional approval could come by Friday. If lawmakers had failed to act on the tax cut extension, it would have expired March 1.