Fed govt. shutdown likely averted as tax talks continue

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans will keep a controversial oil pipeline provision in a bill to extend a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

Opposition by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to language that would speed work on the Keystone XL pipeline has been a major hurdle to reaching compromise on the payroll tax cut measure.

Senate leaders are negotiating the payroll tax cut bill. Boehner told reporters today the House will keep the pipeline language in whatever bill the Senate produces.

The House plans to approve a $1 trillion spending bill today that will avert a weekend federal shutdown and keep government agencies running through next September. Then the House will send members home until the Senate produces a payroll tax cut bill they can vote on.

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