Washington’s high-decibel battle over the payroll-tax break ended Friday without debate, a roll-call vote or even a peep of dissent, as Congress approved legislation to prevent a Jan. 1 tax increase.

The House and Senate quickly approved a two-month extension of the tax break. The action ended the latest in a series of partisan stalemates that have driven Congress’s approval ratings to an all-time low.

The brisk end to the impasse gave little hint of the political turmoil that Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) suffered through as the showdown risked the party being blamed for allowing taxes to rise.