POLITICS

Government Spending Bill Becomes Hostage In Payroll Tax Fight

12/13/2011 08:52 am ET | Updated Feb 12, 2012

A massive year-end spending deal hung in the balance late Monday as a frustrated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sought to use the package to win more cooperation from the Republican House on the question of extending payroll tax breaks backed by President Barack Obama.

Reid and Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee have been pivotal in negotiating the $1 trillion-plus spending bill, often taking on the role of mediating between the administration and House Republicans. But those prolonged talks have left a residue of anger and raw feelings, and Reid feels he has not seen the same spirit of compromise from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Obama's priority - the payroll tax holiday.

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