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Republicans’ Payroll Tax Cut Vote Aims to Pressure Democrats

U.S. House Republican leaders offered to vote this week to extend a payroll-tax cut through 2012 in an attempt to shift blame to Democrats if they balk and Americans’ take-home pay shrinks next month.

Republican leaders yesterday dropped their demand for spending cuts to offset the $94 billion cost of continuing the payroll tax cut through the rest of 2012. They proposed passing the tax cut while continuing to negotiate on long-term federal unemployment benefits and a measure to prevent a 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors. All three provisions are set to expire Feb. 29.