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“We gave it a try, and it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and shows that we need to move beyond short-term tax fixes and move toward an overhaul of our tax code that will create lasting economic growth, more jobs, and give our businesses the certainty they need,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican and ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee.

In a meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Times last month, Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform and creator of its no-tax-increase pledge, said the fight to extend the payroll tax is different than the fight to end the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts passed under Mr. Bush.

“It is in a different category than things that were passed whose advocates and opponents all understood the goal was to make them permanent,” said Mr. Norquist, alluding to the fact that Republicans wanted to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, but did not have the votes to do so at the time.

The AARP also has weighed in, warning that an extension of the “holiday” would “undermine confidence in Social Security and put at risk the program’s dedicated funding stream and hard-earned benefits of millions of Americans and their families.”

Democrats are, however, coalescing around the idea of extending unemployment benefits again, saying that proposal provides a bigger impact and would be cheaper than the payroll-tax cuts.