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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will abandon a plan to lower the payroll tax for employers and focus on continuing and expanding the current tax cut for workers, according to a Democratic aide.

Reid will propose reducing the payroll tax paid by employees to 3.1 percent for 2012 from the current 4.2 percent, said the aide, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the plan publicly. Eliminating the provision to reduce the payroll tax for employers will reduce the package’s cost to about $180 billion over 10 years from $265 billion, the aide said.

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