Republicans plan House OK of payroll tax cut bill

By the Associated Press | December 13, 2011 | 2:55 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are girding to push a bill through the House that would continue a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers, but has drawn White House and Democratic objections because it would also force work on a controversial oil pipeline.

House Speaker John Boehner is predicting the House will approve the measure Tuesday. President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have made clear the bill won't go much further, in part because of provisions giving the administration two months to approve work on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from western Canada to Texas.

The bill would also renew but shorten extra benefits for the longtime unemployed and prevent an automatic cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors, which could prompt some to drop patients.