The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that wouldextend an employee payroll tax cut for one year while freezing payfor federal workers, restructuring unemployment compensation andspeeding approval of a Canadian pipeline that would stretch toTexas.

Today's 234-193 vote sends the $202.4 billion measure to theU.S. Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat,has said it won't advance. The Senate may vote on blocking theHouse measure this week before negotiations begin on legislationthat would have a better chance of clearing both chambers ofCongress and being signed by President Barack Obama.

The payroll tax cut has been caught up in partisan politics,with Obama portraying Republicans as willing to allow amiddle-class tax increase while Republicans raised concerns aboutcovering the cost of the tax cut. If Congress doesn't act by Dec.31, employees will begin paying a 6.2 percent tax on the first$110,100 in wages in January, up from 4.2 percent this year. Thepayroll tax funds Social Security.

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