QUICK TAKE: Aides to Payroll Conferees Meet; Conferees To Come
By Billy House
January 11, 2012 | 2:13 p.m.
House and Senate staffers who are working on the conference on the payroll-tax bill convened on Wednesday as a group, even if the 20 payroll-tax conferees themselves have not yet scheduled a date to open their negotiations.
Staffers for House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, R-Mich., and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., organized and called the meeting, held at the Capitol. The staffers for both chairmen went through the conference process and procedures.
“Today, the staff of conferees met in a bipartisan and bicameral setting to discuss the staff-level work that has been underway over the last few weeks,” a Camp spokeswoman said. “The work is ongoing and will continue so that members have the materials and information they need for productive discussions.”
December’s two-month extension of the payroll-tax holiday, federal unemployment insurance and the doctor reimbursement rate under Medicare expires on Feb. 29. The House kicks off its 2012 legislative session next week, and the 20 conferees could start negotiating next week, although no date has been finalized. The Senate formally opens its legislative session the following week.