By Trish Turner
Senate Democratic leaders and President Obama met at the White House Wednesday to discuss "dropping the millionaire surtax to pay for a payroll tax extension," a Senate Democratic aide tells Fox News, saying the move "is under serious consideration."
According to Fox's Ed Henry, a senior Administration official notes the President has always been open to alternative ways to pay for the payroll tax cut, though the official stressed that keeping the surtax but scaling it back remains a viable option for Democrats. No announcement is imminent, however, according to the official.
Scrapping the surtax on the second million an American taxpayer earns would not be a surprise, though, as Republicans have steadfastly refused any tax on the wealthy, thereby depriving the majority of the necessary votes for passage.
The Democratic source says the White House group is now looking at possibly paying for an extension of any payroll tax holiday through added fees to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities, a $35.7 billion provision found in House Speaker John Boehner's own payroll tax/jobless benefits bill that passed the House earlier this week.