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A rocky week ahead for Congress

Monday - 12/12/2011, 2:41pm  ET

Dave McConnell, wtop.com

CAPITOL HILL - Lawmakers continue to scramble for a payroll tax cut extension.

House Republicans are set to vote on a plan that continues the Social Security payroll tax holiday, but only if President Obama OKs construction of a controversial oil pipeline from Canada through the U.S. -- something Obama opposes.

In the Senate, competing payroll tax extenders have now failed twice. Republicans rejecting Democrats proposals to hit millionaires with a two percent tax to cover costs. Democrats side-tracking GOP moves to extend federal pay freezes and cut government jobs to pay for the extension.

More hard bargaining is expected, but for now, it's deadlock city!

The payroll tax cuts expire in three weeks.

This week, money for government agencies runs out on Friday at midnight. Another shutdown? Not likely, though GOP Tea Party sympathizers are spoiling for a fight over the price tag.

Federal workers are likely to stay on the job as another short-term extension of funding into the new year is likely to be approved.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)