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Add to stalemate over payroll tax the threat of government shutdown

The Republican-led House on Tuesday approved the bill it likes for extending the payroll tax cut, set to expire at year's year, and unemployment benefits. The Democratic-led Senate already has denounced the House bill as a nonstarter. Can yet another threat of a government shutdown be far behind?

As Republican and Democratic lawmakers tangle over how to pay the costs of extending tax and jobless benefits, with neither side advancing, a bill to fund government for the remainder of the fiscal year is caught in the stalemate. A stop-gap measure to cover the rest of fiscal 2012 spending expires Friday, and a new omnibus measure to keep government running after that date is stuck in the Senate at the urging, Republicans say, of the White House

The payroll tax measure, which would affect some 160 million workers, is what's gumming up the works.

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