WASHINGTON – Two days after voting down a stopgap extension of a payroll tax holiday, House Republicans reversed course Thursday and agreed to pass a two-month tax break.

WASHINGTON – Two days after voting down a stopgap extension of a payroll tax holiday, House Republicans reversed course Thursday and agreed to pass a two-month tax break.

A compromise was struck between House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Boehner held a 10-minute conference call with House Republicans early Thursday evening to discuss the deal that will extend the payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits, and Medicare physician reimbursements that would otherwise expire Jan. 1.

Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, said he was pleased “cooler heads prevailed” and that an agreement was reached.

“I hope this entire experience has been a teaching moment for those in Congress who continue to pursue their own partisan agendas and for those who reject good policy just because it comes from the other party,” Ross said. “It’s time that Congress stop the nonsense and start working together to balance the budget, create jobs and get our economy back on track.”

Arkansas’ three freshmen Republicans said Thursday that they would back the compromise.

“I will support it,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock.

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said he would support the effort, but was disappointed that a long-term resolution could not be reached before the end of the year.

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, sent a letter to Boehner hours before the deal was announced urging him to compromise. He had heard from angry and frustrated constituents after returning to the district.

“The payroll tax compromise announced today is welcome news for my constituents and every American worker,” Crawford said. “The compromise that Speaker Boehner announced today will give Congress a two month time period to reach a long-term solution that will provide certainty for Arkansans and all Americans.”

Boehner briefly discussed the deal.

“Under the terms of our agreement, a new bill will be approved by the House that reflects the bipartisan agreement in the Senate,” Boehner said.

The Senate’s short-term approach, which was approved 89-10 on Saturday, would renew a 2 percentage point cut in the Social Security payroll tax, plus jobless benefits averaging about $300 a week for the long-term unemployed, and would prevent a 27 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors.

House Republicans had refused on Tuesday to accept it, and voted instead to form a conference committee to negotiate with the Senate on a long-term solution. No House Democrat voted in favor.

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., who had backed the two-month plan, said that the latest compromise is “an important step forward” in providing some certainty to American families, businesses and workers.

“While Congress will work on long-term solutions, American families deserve this compromise that is in the best interest of our immediate needs,” he said.

President Barack Obama also weighed in after the deal was announced.

“I’ve stated consistently that it was critical that Congress not go home without preventing a tax increase on 160 million working Americans. Today, I congratulate members of Congress for ending the partisan stalemate by reaching an agreement that meets that test,” he said.

Boehner hopes to pass a revised Senate bill on Friday by “unanimous consent” that would add language to allow businesses to process and withhold payroll taxation under the same accounting structure that is currently in place.

Should any member object to approving the bill without a vote, Boehner said he was prepared to bring the bill up next week for a roll call.

Reid also expects to bring the bill up through unanimous consent to have the legislation clear Congress before Christmas.

“I look forward to appointing members of my caucus to continue negotiations towards a year-long agreement. Two months is not a long time, and I expect the negotiators to work expeditiously to forge year-long extensions of these critical policies,” Reid said.