House-Senate Payroll Tax Conferees to Start Meetings Week of Jan. 16

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A 20-member conference committee is expected to begin meeting during the week of Jan. 16 on a full-year extension of the payroll tax holiday, congressional aides say. The aides expect House Ways and Means Chairman Camp to chair the conference committee and convene the group's first meeting after the House returns from its winter recess Jan. 17. Lawmakers in both houses of Congress agree on a need to extend the Social Security tax rate at the current 4.2 percent for individuals, but finding a way to pay for the $100 billion tax cut has been the key sticking point. Senate Democrats have favored using a surtax on high-income individuals to pay for the extension, while House Republicans put forward a bill (H.R. 3630) that would have paid for the extension through a variety of spending cuts and a plan to require high-income individuals to pay higher Medicare premiums.