Republicans muscle tax cut bill through House

WASHINGTON - (AP) - The Republican-controlled 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 vote was 234-193.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where top Democrats strongly oppose the pipeline provision.

The legislation would also renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. And it would head off a threatened 27 percent cut in fees to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

With lawmakers expected to adjourn soon for the year, the partisan showdown is the last of a remarkably quarrelsome year of divided government.

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