A House-Senate Conference Committee continued their negotiations on extending a payroll tax cut for workers paying into Social Security, as well as long-term unemployment aid and Medicare payments to doctors. The tax cuts expire at the end of this month. Both parties agree on the need for an extension, but not on how to pay for it. As part of the package, on Thursday, lawmakers took up aid to families and air pollution regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.
In December 2011, Congress passed a two-month payroll tax cut extension. Democrats proposed taxing income earners over $1 million while Republicans wanted the cost to be offset through spending cuts.