WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is expressing cautious optimism that a compromise can be reached on an oil pipeline provision that Republicans insist must be part of a Social Security tax cut extension.
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined several opportunities to say that President Barack Obama would veto the tax cut if it contained language aimed at expediting the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline project. Obama last week said he would reject efforts to tie the pipeline to the payroll tax.
The Republican proposal would require the administration to grant a building permit for the pipeline within 60 days unless the president declares that the project is not in the national interest.
Carney told reporters he would not comment on what language regarding the pipeline would be acceptable to the president.