Defiant Republicans passed legislation tonight to extend Social Security payroll tax cuts long sought by President Barack Obama—but they included a much-disputed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that has drawn a veto threat. The vote was 234-193. The bill now goes to near-certain demise in the Democratic-controlled Senate, triggering the final partisan showdown of a remarkably quarrelsome year of divided government.
House Democrats accused Republicans of protecting "millionaires and billionaires" with their legislation, and Harry Reid derided the pipeline provision as "ideological candy" for the Tea Party. Republicans mocked Obama's objections. "Mr. President, we can't wait," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. "You can't be for the middle class, you can't be for keeping taxes low, and be against our Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act." (Read more payroll taxes stories.)