Bernanke doesn't take the bait on payroll tax cut

Last month, Congress extended the payroll tax cut — which reduces the rate for workers from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent — through February.

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A bipartisan conference committee, consisting of 20 lawmakers from both chambers, is currently working to extend the payroll tax cut for a full year, while also taking a look at federal unemployment benefits and how doctors are reimbursed for treating Medicare patients.

Many lawmakers from both parties have said that they want to see the payroll tax cut in place for a full year.

But the two sides seem far apart on whether or not to include other issues in their discussions, with Democrats wanting to talk about tax provisions that expired at the end of 2011 and Republicans pushing for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline that was recently rejected by the Obama administration.

Democrats have also called for paying for at least part of the package with higher taxes on millionaires, an idea that Republicans have summarily rejected for months.