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Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., center, and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., left, hold a meeting with the conference committee on the payroll tax cut on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate leaders traded demands Wednesday but remained mired in a bitter holiday-season stalemate that is threatening 160 million workers with Jan. 1 tax increases and millions of the long-term unemployed with an end to their benefits.

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