Obama backs payroll tax deal but pipeline in doubt

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama supports a compromise payroll tax deal reached in Congress on Friday but Republican insistence on including a demand to speed a decision on a controversial oil pipeline means it almost certainly will not be built, a senior administration official said.
The Obama administration believes that while an agreement to extend payroll tax breaks for just two months is not ideal, it would be inconceivable that Republicans would consent to that and later refuse to extend the cuts for the rest of the year, the official said.
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