The fight: Tax cuts, jobless benefits and pipeline

December 16, 2011 - 7:57 PM
APTOPIX Congress Spending Showdown

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., followed by House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn of S.C. and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md. arrive for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, where she criticized Republicans as being responsible for a "do-nothing Congress" . (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate officials say negotiators are close to a deal for a two-month extension of Social Security payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. Both are due to expire at the end of the year.

The same package is also expected to require the Obama administration to make a speedy decision on the fate of a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to Texas that promises thousands of jobs.

If nailed down, the deal would come up for a vote in the Senate as soon as Saturday.

Majority Republican leaders in the House were not involved in the negotiations.

The developments came after the White House backed away from a veto threat that centered on the pipeline.