Politico (02/12/2012) Jake Sherman; Manu Raju
Talks between the two top tax writers in Congress this weekend failed to bridge partisan differences over the payroll tax cut package, increasing the odds of another Washington showdown ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) exchanged offers throughout the weekend in an attempt to cut a deal on extending the payroll tax holiday and jobless benefits for millions of Americans. Talks appeared to turn sour late Sunday, with Republican aides accusing the Democrats of trying to scuttle the negotiations to provoke a crisis for political gain. Democrats dismissed that characterization, saying Republicans were holding up a deal by refusing to negotiate seriously over taxes and calling for unrelated policy riders.