In this Dec. 1, 2011, photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves his news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The year-end government spending on the table after three failed high-profile efforts at big deficit deals shows how hard it is to stem the government's flow of red ink. Lawmakers are poised to renew a Social Security tax cut, and to continue unemployment benefits to people out of work for more than half a year. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Speaking after a closed door meeting of House Republicans, Boehner said “good conversations” are ongoing among Republicans about how best to pay for the tax cut, which has been urged by President Obama and Democrats.

“We’re continuing to talk to our members,” Boehner said. “We talked to them last week. We continue to work on this. And we expect before the week’s over, we’ll talk to our members again. I think it’s important for us to have these deliberations with our colleagues before we introduce a bill.”

Republicans have said for several days that they are working on their proposal to keep the payroll tax cut, which will expire at the end of 2011, at 4.2 percent, rather than allowing it to revert to 6.2 percent. B ut they reject a Democratic plan to charge a surtax on people who make more than $1 million a year to pay for the tax cut.

But rank-and-file Republicans, including many of the deficit-busting tea-party members that came to Congress in 2010, reject the idea of budgeting gimmicry that would further deepen the deficit.

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