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Dem Lawmakers May Drop Millionaire Tax in Year-End Dispute

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(The Blaze/AP) Democratic lawmakers are considering whether to jettison their demand for a millionaires' surtax, which they had hoped to use to cover the cost of a Social Security payroll tax cut extension for millions of wage-earners, officials said Wednesday.

No decisions had been made, the officials stressed. If party leaders go ahead, it would mark a concession to Republicans in the year-end standoff over the tax cut extension that President Barack Obama requested and leaders in both parties say they want.

The officials declined to be identified by name because they were discussing legislative strategy.

The disclosure came as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other leading Democrats went to the White House to meet with Obama. The subject of that meeting was not announced.

The developments occurred one day after the Republican-controlled House approved legislation to extend the payroll tax cut, renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and head off a threatened 27 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Obama has threatened to veto the bill, in part because it also mandates the construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.

However, Senate Democrats have been unable to advance an alternative measure, in large part because Republicans are almost unanimously opposed to higher taxes. In its most recent form, the Democratic plan would have slapped a 1.9 percent surtax on income over $1 million, raising an estimated $140 billion over a decade.

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