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Obama, Republicans Deadlocked Over FICA Tax Cuts

December 22, 2011

Millions of Americans could see their taxes go up while others could soon lose their unemployment insurance because of political gridlock in Washington.

The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday side-stepped a vote on a bill to temporarily extend a payroll tax cut, calling instead for a new round of negotiations on a full-year extension.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner told reporters afterward that Republican lawmakers in the House had done their job, placing the blame on lawmakers in the U.S. Senate.

The failure of House Republicans to pass the Senate bill sparked an angry reply from U.S. President Barack Obama.

"I need the speaker and house republicans to do the same, put politics aside, put aside issues where there are fundamental disagreements and come together on something we agree on."

He said the American people are tired and weary of gamesmanship and deserve better.

Senate leaders have said they have no plans to negotiate a new deal before the end of the year.

The White House says 160 million Americans will see their taxes go up by about $1,000 a year if the House fails to pass the tax cut extension by the end of the year.

The White House also says about two million out-of-work Americans will lose their unemployment insurance if the House does not act.

The Senate on Saturday overwhelmingly approved the two-month extension of a payroll tax cut.

The White House Tuesday said it wants House lawmakers to pass the two-month tax cut extension now, and then negotiate the cut for a full year when they return from their holiday break in January.

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