Democratic leaders in the Senate met with President Obama Wednesday afternoon to discuss their push to extend the employee payroll tax cut.

According to a congressional aide, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (Nev.), Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinAmerica’s waning commitment to the promise of the First Amendment Senate rejects Trump immigration plan What to watch for in the Senate immigration votes MORE (Ill.), Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (N.Y.) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn Murray30 million people will experience eating disorders — the CDC needs to help Mulvaney remarks on Trump budget plan spark confusion Overnight Finance: Mulvaney sparks confusion with budget remarks | Trump spars with lawmakers on tariffs | Treasury looks to kill 300 tax regs | Intel chief's warning on debt MORE (Wash.) attended the meeting at the White House.

The group met at 2:45 p.m. and broke up at 3:30. The senators left the White House without taking questions from reporters.

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The leaders were expected to discuss how to move a payroll tax cut extension and a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill by the end of the year. 

The meeting comes as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are engaged in a back-and-forth over what legislation to pass when.

The current resolution funding the government expires on Friday, and Congress has yet to act on a spending measure. The payroll tax holiday is scheduled to expire Dec. 31.

House Republicans passed an extension of the payroll tax on Tuesday but Democrats have objected to a provision that would move up the requirement for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama had put off that decision until after the election and has said he will veto the GOP package because of that.

Reid suggested a possible route to compromise Tuesday when he said he would be willing to extend the payroll tax holiday without paying for its $120 billion cost. The cost of the extension would rise to $180 billion if the tax break were expanded.

Earlier on Wednesday House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Ohio) called on legislators in the Senate to pass the House measure.

Reid tried to bring it up in the Senate — knowing it was likely to fail — but was blocked by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (Ky.), who cited concerns about a possible government shutdown.

McConnell said Congress should first take up an omnibus spending bill to fund the government.


— Alexander Bolton contributed

This story was updated at 4:50 p.m.