With government funding due to run out Friday, McConnell said averting a government shutdown should be the first priority.
He said Congress should first take up an omnibus spending bill to fund the government for fiscal 2012.
He suggested Congress could revisit the payroll tax debate later this month or early next year. The payroll tax holiday is scheduled to expire Dec. 31.
“Let’s deal first with the deadline that happens this Friday, two days from now,” McConnell said. “Fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year and then turn immediately to the payroll tax extension.”