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GOP leaders hope for agreement on payroll tax cut
House leaders hope GOP lawmakers ready to back bill renewing payroll tax cut, jobless benefits
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Republican leaders hope to win over enough GOP lawmakers in time for a House vote next week on legislation extending a Social Security payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

House Republicans were meeting privately Thursday to discuss their latest plans for a roughly $180 billion package. It would renew this year's 2 percentage point cut in the 6.2 percent payroll tax through 2012, provide extra benefits for people who are jobless over half a year and prevent scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to doctors.

A Senate vote on a Democratic version of the bill could occur Thursday. It is sure to fail.

It mimics President Barack Obama's proposal to drop the payroll tax to 3.1 percent next year. Many Republicans oppose it because it would raise taxes on the wealthy.

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