Keystone Pipeline's Connection To Payroll Taxes? It's Up For Debate | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Keystone Pipeline's Connection To Payroll Taxes? It's Up For Debate

The Keystone XL pipeline is supposed to connect Canada to Texas. But does it also have to connect to a payroll tax holiday?

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, speaking today on NPR's Tell Me More, said no link should be made because the oil pipeline is not "germane" to legislation involving a tax holiday.

Republicans had made it a sticking point in December when they tied the controversial pipeline to legislation extending a 2 percentage point payroll tax break through the end of 2012. They approved the tax holiday, but only for two months — and with language forcing the White House to make a quick decision on the pipeline.

President Obama responded by halting the project that environmentalists hate.

Jarrett said the Republicans' action made no sense. "What did the pipeline have to do with extending the payroll tax in the first place?" She said help for taxpayers should not be weighed down "with other pieces of legislation that aren't germane."

But also in Washington, D.C., this morning, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican, was speaking at an event sponsored by The National Journal. Barrasso, who insisted on including the pipeline language in the payroll-tax legislation, said Keystone and the tax-break extension are bound together by the common thread of economic growth.

Obama wants to help the economy by boosting workers' take-home pay, and Republicans want to help the economy by increasing energy-related jobs, he said. But Tuesday night's State of the Union address offered no hope that Obama would changing his mind, Barrasso said.

The president's address was "a re-tread" that only repeated the past, Barrasso said. "It was a groundhog-day speech."

(Marilyn Geewax is a senior business editor on NPR's National Desk.)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Local Theaters Put 'The Interview' On The Marquee

A handful of theaters nationwide decided to show Sony's "The Interview," and there were several in the D.C. area.

NPR

Why Bury Fig Trees? A Curious Tradition Preserves A Taste Of Italy

For generations, Italian-American fig growers in the Northeast have buried their trees in trenches for the winter. It's a tradition that preserves both flavor and ancestral ties to southern Italy.
NPR

Most Federal Workers Get Day After Christmas Off

Thanks to an executive order signed by President Obama, most federal workers are also off on Friday. The cost for the extra day off is $660 million.
NPR

Sony Hack Highlights The Global Underground Market For Malware

The software used in the Sony data breach is available on the underground market. This makes it easier for criminals to execute an attack but harder to identify the perpetrators.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.