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Paychecks for 160 million workers will be reduced in January unless lawmakers break a stalemate that could dent U.S. economic growth and poses political difficulties for a Congress with low public approval ratings.

President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid show no intention of making concessions on a tax-cut extension that would break the logjam. Obama insisted yesterday the only way to avert a payroll tax increase for workers in January is for the House to send him a two-month deal the Senate passed Dec. 17.

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