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GOP Elite Pledge To Extend Payroll Tax Cut

Benjamin Gottlieb |
January 29, 2012 | 9:30 p.m. PST

Executive Editor

House Speaker John Boehner (R) - Creative Commons
House Speaker John Boehner (R) - Creative Commons
Republican lawmakers said Sunday they are confident a deal will be made with Congressional Democrats to extend the widely debated payroll tax cut before it expires at the end of February.  

The payroll tax -- a levy extracted from each American's paycheck to fund various government-sponsored programs, including Medicare and Social Security -- was reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent by President Obama in 2011 with the hope that putting more money in the pockets of Americans would stimulate the economy. Under the payroll tax cut, the average American family earning $50,000 a year would theoretically save $1,000.

But with the current tax break slated to expire at the end of next month, House Speaker John Boehner told ABC's "This Week" a Obama-supported payroll tax cut extension will be obtained "fairly quickly."

"We are in a formal conference with the Senate, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to resolve this…" Boehner, told ABC.

Despite the promise, GOP leaders have yet to release specifics on how they would pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut.

"There is broad agreement on doing the payroll tax holiday through the end of the year ... The problem is paying for it," said Mitch McConnell, a top Senate Republican on CNN. "(Democrats) just don't want to cut any spending. That is what made it problematic. But we will get it done. We will get it done before the end of February."

If Congress fails to extend the tax cuts, it would leave workers the average American worker with roughly $900 less in their wallets this year, according to Reuters.

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