Senate leaders reached an agreement Friday to extend the payroll tax cut for two months, averting a New Year’s tax increase for millions of workers. The agreement also will require the administration to decide quickly whether to allow construction of a controversial transcontinental oil pipeline.

President Obama had demanded that Congress extend the tax holiday, but Republicans had refused to go along unless the White House agreed to an accelerated decision on the pipeline.

“We’ll be back discussing the same issues in a couple months,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

The Senate will vote on the deal Saturday, and the House will take up the package next week. The inclusion of the controversial pipeline was intended to satisfy House Republicans who had been objecting to a short-term fix. McConnell said he was optimistic the deal would find favor with the House.

Continue reading on