Bloomberg News

Senate Blocks Democratic Bill to Expand Payroll Tax Cut in 2012

December 14, 2011

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate blocked a Democratic proposal to expand a payroll tax cut for workers in 2012 and pay for it in part by imposing a 1.9 percent surtax on income exceeding $1 million.

With 50 senators voting for the measure and 48 against it, the bill fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation.

The legislation would have cut the Social Security payroll tax paid by workers from 4.2 percent to 3.1 percent on the first $110,100 of income in 2012.

The bill’s $185 billion cost also would have been covered by raising the guarantee fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge to lenders and by means-testing eligibility for unemployment compensation and food stamps.

Unless Congress acts, employees will begin paying 6.2 percent of their wages in a Social Security payroll tax on Jan. 1.

The bill is S. 1944.

--Editors: Jodi Schneider, Don Frederick

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Sloan in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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