Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said lawmakers mayhave to agree to an extension of a payroll tax cut for workers thatfalls short of a full year if they can't reach a deal on coveringthe measure's cost.

“If we cannot agree on the pay-for, we might have to look toother options for the payroll tax,” such as not extending the taxcut “for the full time,” Baucus said today at a conferencecommittee meeting in Washington.

House and Senate negotiators are seeking to extend the two-percentage point reduction in the payroll tax for workers through2012, which would cost the Treasury about $100 billion. Lawmakersin December passed a two-month extension of the tax cut, whichexpires Feb. 29, because they couldn't agree on how to finance alonger continuation.

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