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Lugar: Tax bill not a jab at Tea Party

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Unread 12.25.11, 07:11 PM
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Lugar: Tax bill not a jab at Tea Party

12.25.11 12:11 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A senior Republican senator said the U.S. Senate's passage of the payroll-tax bill was not a swipe at the Tea Party faction in the House.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said Sunday it was unlikely Congress could have come to an agreement on a year-long agreement without a drawn-out debate that was not practical with the Christmas recess bearing down.

"I think that Mitch McConnell, our Senate leader, offered an avenue of approach that said this is a serious business," Lugar said on CNN's "State of the Union. "We ought to talk about a year solution, but this is not likely to be resolved in the next few days.

McConnell, R-Ky., raised some hackles among Tea Party budget hawks by agreeing to a two-month extension the payroll-tax reduction, which also included an extension of unemployment benefits.

Lugar said the interim measure would not only benefit U.S. workers but included passage of a measure to push forward the Keystone XL oil pipeline out of Canada, which Lugar supports.

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