If your paycheck shrinks on the first payday of 2012, who will you blame?
The House, the Senate and the president are at odds over how to extend the payroll tax cut and for how long. A two-month extension bill passed in the Senate and foundered in the House, where representatives say temporary fixes won't fly and a full-year deal must be forged.
Barack Obama has called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner to push for a resolution.
On top of the possible 2 percentage point rise in the payroll tax, unemployment aid will dry up unless Congress acts.
The Southland's congressional reps voted along party lines. Judy Biggert and Adam Kinzinger stuck with John Boehner, while Dan Lipinski, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Bobby Rush voted to extend the tax cut.