Federal pay freeze truly off table in payroll tax deal?

Monday - 12/5/2011, 7:46pm EST

Humberto Sanchez, reporter, CQ Roll Call

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By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio

Senate Democrats have a new plan to extend the payroll tax cut.

This comes after a Republican plan that would freeze federal pay and cut the federal workforce failed to advance in the Senate.

Humberto Sanchez, who covers the Senate for CQ Roll Call, joined In Depth with Francis Rose to discuss the latest proposals emanating from Congress on a payroll tax cut extension.

President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have scaled back plans for an extension of the payroll tax cut in a bid to increase Republican support. However, GOP lawmakers are unlikely to favor it, as it still involves a tax increase on the wealthy.

Previous Republican proposals sought to pay for the tax cut with an extended pay freeze for federal employees and a 10 percent cut, through attrition, to the federal workforce. That provision was voted down in the Senate last week.

Sanchez said a Senate vote on the latest plan is likely this week, but Republicans remain skeptical of the Democrats' motives.

And, he said, even though the proposal to freeze federal pay didn't advance the last time, it could still wind up on the table as part of a final compromise.

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