Defiant Republicans pushed legislation through the House Tuesday night that would keep alive Social Security payroll tax cuts for some 160 million Americans at President Barack Obama's request -- but also would require construction of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that has sparked a White House veto threat.
Passage, on a largely party-line vote of 234-193, sent the measure toward its certain demise in the Democratic-controlled Senate, triggering the final partisan showdown of a remarkably quarrelsome year of divided government.
The legislation "extends the payroll tax relief, extends and reforms unemployment insurance and protects Social Security -- without job-killing tax hikes," Republican House Speaker John Boehner declared after the measure had cleared.Referring to the controversy over the Keystone XL pipeline, he added, "Our bill includes sensible, bipartisan measures to help the private sector create jobs."
On a long day of finger pointing, however, House Democrats accused Republicans of protecting "millionaires and billionaires, `' and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., derided the GOP-backed pipeline provision as "ideological candy" for the tea party-set.
After the House vote, the White House urged Congress on in finishing work on extending the tax cuts and jobless aid. Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement that didn't mention the pipeline but renewed Obama's insistence that the legislation be paid for, at least in part, by "asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share" in higher tax levies.
Read more: House Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension With Keystone Pipeline Provision | Fox News
From what I understand this bill gives Democrats everything they asked for (payroll tax relief, extension of unemployment insurance, Social Security/Medicare) but requires the President to make a decision on the Keystone pipeline within 60 days instead of putting it off until the next election. Why is Harry Reid calling this bill "dead" and why is Obama threatening veto? Is the Keystone pipeline such a contentious issue that the Democrats would veto the other concessions made by Republicans? Do the Democrats/Liberals on this board support this bill or are you against it?