WASHINGTON (KMOX/AP)- The Senate has approved a two-month extension of a cut to the Social Security payroll tax and agreed to continue jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
The 89-10 vote comes as a partial victory for President Barack Obama’s year-end jobs agenda.
But the bill also contains a provision demanded by Republicans to pressure Obama into approving construction of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.
Environmentalists oppose the project, but it promises thousands of jobs and several unions support it.
Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill (D) and Roy Blunt (R) both voted in favor of the package, as did Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D).
Illinois Senator Mark Kirk (R) voted against the measure and sent KMOX a written statement why:
“Congress should not cut contributions to Social Security that over 40 million American seniors depend on. This bill cuts Social Security contributions by $20 billion, replaced with Treasury debt that does not even have a AAA credit rating from Standard and Poors. While many of us support the bipartisan Keystone Pipeline to add jobs, I worry that under the bill, the President will kill this project 60 days from now.”
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)