Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate voted in favor of a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and for an omnibus appropriations bill to fund government operations.

On the extension of the payroll tax cut and the omnibus appropriations bill:

"We kept the government open, we continued the payroll tax cut for middle class families and we continued unemployment insurance. When we return next year, we should extend these essential priorities by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share because those offsets won't dampen economic growth."

On the Keystone pipeline and environmental riders:

"By insisting on an expedited review of the Keystone pipeline that will not allow for sufficient consideration of public health and safety concerns, Republicans have effectively killed the project. Senate Democrats were able to block a long list of other unrelated provisions that threatened public health and the environment, including one that would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from requiring the dirtiest industrial boilers to reduce air pollution and prevent up to 8,100 premature deaths."