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Baucus: Payroll Deal 'Very Close'; Few 'Little Wrinkles' to Iron Out

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the members of the payroll conference committee, said that while a few “wrinkles” remain, negotiators are “very close” to coming to a formal deal to extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, and the “doc fix.”

“We’re there, but what really counts is if we get the job done,” Baucus told reporters Wednesday, “to provide the unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut for Americans. We’re there, there are just a couple little wrinkles that sometimes get in the way but I think they will all be ironed out today.”

Baucus, one of the main negotiators on the Senate side, said he’s “pretty optimistic” that the last few details of the deal will be finished Wednesday.  The Senator admitted that last minute compromise came together in part because of legislators’ acute understanding of how a failure to extend the payroll credit would affect their already tarnished image to Americans.

“I think frankly a lot of people in Washington, D.C., know that Congress is not enjoying such a great reputation and here’s an opportunity to reach an agreement, to show that we can get our work done,” Baucus said.

The payroll tax credits and other two expiring policies are set to expire on February 29.

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