Obama calls House, Senate leaders over payroll tax cuts

6:32 AM, Dec 22, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- An aide to House Speaker John Boehner says the speaker told President Barack Obama Wednesday that he should try to get Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to negotiate on a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut that's scheduled to expire in less than two weeks.

Obama called both men to urge an end to the standoff over the tax cut. The Senate passed a two-month extension, but the House refused. And now, lawmakers have left town.

Spokesman Jay Carney says Obama urged Boehner to bring the House back into session to pass the two-month extension of the cuts previously approved by the Senate. Carney says Obama reiterated that he is committed to then working on a full-year extension of the cuts.

Boehner and other top House Republicans met Wednesday, saying Senate negotiators should join them in a search for compromise. Minutes earlier, Reid released a letter to Boehner urging him to bring the House back to Washington to approve the shorter-term extension.

If lawmakers don't act by Jan. 1, payroll taxes will jump almost $20 a week, or $1,000 a year, for a worker earning $50,000.

 

(Associated Press)

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