Payroll tax conferees to meet Tuesday

The conference committee looking to hammer out a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut will meet for the first time on Jan. 24, top lawmakers said Thursday evening.

The 20 lawmakers on the committee are also looking to resolve differences between the two chambers on federal unemployment benefits and the reimbursement rate for physicians under Medicare.

After a bruising fight, Congress enacted a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, a top administration priority, in December.

Tuesday's meeting will also come the same day that President Obama is scheduled to come to the Capitol to deliver his State of the Union address.

Top Democrats, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have already called for the tax cut to be offset by higher taxes on the wealthy — or not at all. But Republicans want the tax cut to be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the budget, having already called for freezing pay for federal workers and trimming certain benefits for the wealthy.