The House has passed legislation sought by President Barack Obama to extend Social Security payroll tax cuts through 2012. But the bill also includes a requirement for construction of an oil pipeline that has drawn a veto threat.
The bill includes key parts of the jobs program Obama asked Congress to approve in September, including an extension of the social security payroll tax cut through 2012 and continued funding for unemployed benefits for long-term jobless Americans. And it would head off a threatened 27-percent cut in fees to doctors who treat Medicare patients.
The bill also tries to provoke a decision on the proposed keystone X-L oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. Obama wants to defer a decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 election.
The vote was 234-193. The measure now goes to the Senate, where top Democrats strongly oppose the pipeline provision.