Pipeline Politics

Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 11:58am

President Obama warns Republicans against tying oil pipeline to tax cut bill.

President Obama's push to extend the middle-class payroll tax cut has hit a new snag.

Republicans are now working to tie the tax cut bill to a controversial oil pipeline.

The seven billion dollar Keystone XL pipeline would run 2,000 miles, through the United States to Canada.

Democrats question whether that's safe.

Republicans say it could create tens of thousands of jobs.

They want it approved as part of the payroll tax cut extension.

"Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut I will reject," President Obama warned Wednesday. "So everybody should be on notice."

Republicans are concerned paying for the tax break could hurt Social Security.

"We're taking money out of the Social Security trust fund. We have a trust fund that we all know is going broke," complained House Speaker John Boehner.

Mr. Obama urged a straight up or down vote on the tax cut.

"I expect they're going to have enough sense over on Capitol Hill to do the people's business, and not try to load it up with a bunch of politics," he said.

The tax break ends December 31.

President Obama told Democrats no one, including him, gets a holiday break until there's a final vote.

A vote on House Republicans' version of the payroll tax cut extension is expected on Monday.

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