Murkowski: Impasse could mean showdown

JUNEAU — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says an impasse over a payroll tax cut extension could mean a showdown between the House and Senate, or a meltdown.

Murkowski told reporters in Anchorage she believes Congress will break the impasse but she’s not sure how.

The House rejected a Senate plan extending a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for two months. Majority House Republicans sought negotiations on a year-long plan but the Senate has left Washington for the holidays. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ruled out talks until the House passes the Senate plan.

Murkowski called the Senate plan a reasonable compromise that provides time to find a more permanent solution.

Without agreement by year’s end, payroll taxes rise by nearly $20 a week for a worker earning a $50,000 salary.

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