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Payroll tax cut debate divides Michigan's congressional delegation

The debate over how to extend a payroll tax cut is dividing Michigan’s congressional delegation.   

The U.S. Senate voted for a two-month extension over the weekend. But the U.S. House is expected to reject the extension this evening.   

Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is among those who voted yes.   

“What we’re talking about is a tax increase happening on over 5 million Michigan workers come January 1 if this doesn’t get extended at least in the short run," says Stabenow. 

But GOP congressman Tim Walberg plans to vote against the extension tonight. The mid-Michigan Republican says the two-month extension doesn’t address the system's long-term viability. Walberg expects a one-year deal can be reached.   

“We can get it all done by the first of the year...it depends on whether the Senate and the President …whether (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid and the President are willing to do it," says Walberg.  

The payroll tax cut amounts to about $1,000 for the average American worker. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.