The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MCT) — One day after House GOP leaders announced they would abandon their insistence that a payroll tax break be paid for with spending cuts, negotiators are now close to a broader deal that would also extend unemployment benefits and ensure Medicare doctors don’t see a pay cut, sources said.

The possible breakthrough Tuesday comes after a tumultuous 24-hour period when House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders in the House said they would no longer force the $20-a-week payroll tax break to be paid for — reversing their position on the issue, which has left the GOP battered in the polls.

Boehner had hoped the overture could shake up the stalled talks to resolve the other remaining issues.

But the shift has not been embraced by the Republican rank-and-file in the House, who have been reluctant to give up their fight against a proposal that does not include spending cuts and adds to the deficit. And Senate Republicans have been noncommittal.

President Barack Obama called on Americans on Tuesday to push Congress to act.

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