Pipeline May End Up in Final Tax Deal

Republicans adamant about keeping Keystone in play
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2011 12:30 PM CST
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Republican lawmakers are determined to push through a measure speeding a White House decision on the Keystone XL pipeline—and they're ready to link it to the payroll tax cut extension. If the Senate sends the House legislation that extends the tax break, as well as jobless benefits and the Medicare reimbursement rate, by two months, "we’ll amend it and send something back," John Boehner said at a GOP meeting. “And what we send back will include Keystone."

Senate Democrats, however, now want a proposed two-month extension to last a year. In order to achieve that, they may be willing to accept the Keystone measure, Politico reports. Leaders of both parties say negotiations are going smoothly in the Senate, though they haven't provided the specifics of a deal. Still, "I think we’re going to get to that place," said Mitch McConnell, even if it requires staying in session tomorrow. The Saturday session could also see a vote on a deal to fund the government through the autumn. (Read more John Boehner stories.)

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