WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiators on Capitol Hill agreed Wednesday to try to extend a payroll tax cut worth about $1,000 this year for a typical worker through the end of the year.

But they remain far apart on how to pay for the extension, and for jobless benefits for millions, without swelling the national debt.

Working in a rare open meeting, a House-Senate panel Wednesday began its negotiations on the payroll tax and jobless benefits measure — core components of President Barack Obama's jobs agenda — by signaling progress on second-tier issues regarding overhauling unemployment insurance. But the talks soon ran aground over House GOP proposals to permit states to require unemployed people to pass drug tests to receive benefits or get high school diplomas.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.