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The Democratic drive would build on last year’s push to renew the payroll-tax cut. The initiative is laced with politics, coming immediately after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed that he pays an effective tax rate of less than 15 percent despite income exceeding $20 million a year.

“The president’s blueprint for restoring economic fairness for the middle class will be the basis of our agenda for this year,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

From wire dispatches and staff reports