NATION

Senate passes extension of payroll tax and jobless benefits

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The State Department, in an analysis released this summer, said the pipeline project would create up to 6,000 jobs during construction, while developer TransCanada put the total at 20,000 in direct employment.

The Senate met in a rare Saturday session to pass the extension. (Photo: Flickr/Johan Ohrling)

The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry oil from western Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

The spending bill locks in spending cuts that conservative Republicans won from the White House and Democrats earlier in the year.

Republicans also won their fight to block new federal regulations for light bulb energy efficiency, coal dust in mines and clean water permits for construction of timber roads.

The White House turned back GOP attempts to block limits on greenhouse gases, mountaintop removal mining and hazardous emissions from utility plants, industrial boilers and cement kilns.

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Associated Press writers David Espo, Alan Fram, Donna Cassata and Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

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