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Payroll Conferees May Meet Privately

Roll Call (02/09/12) Daniel Newhauser

Members of Congress on the payroll tax cut conference committee say that negotiations might have to go behind closed doors for any real work to get done. Most of the contentious issues surrounding the extension of a payroll tax holiday remain unsettled. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) says, “We haven’t had any progress with [talks] being in public, so maybe if we do one private meeting, we can actually make some progress.”

Energy and Commerce ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA) agrees that with an end-of-month deadline, conferees might have to meet privately to hash out a deal. “The meetings have been productive, but it’s time to move now to another stage,” he says. “Now that we’ve stated our positions clearly, albeit sometimes with passion, we have to recognize that we have to reach common ground and get this legislation passed.”