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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Republicans Demand Keystone Jobs For Americans In The USA

Update 2:31 PM: The House passed (296-121) a $1 Trillion bill that would keep the federal government running through September, 2011, The bill has been sent to the Senate hours ahead of a midnight shutdown deadline.   As for the vote: 147 Republicans and 149 Democrats voted “yes,” while 86 Republicans and 35 Democrats voted" no." As part of a compromise, the bill prohibits administration "czars" to oversee health care reform, climate change, the auto industry and urban affairs.  To sweeten the deal for democrats, the bill includes $6 million for the Energy Department to administer the $25 billion auto loan retooling program.

On a positive note, this bill will remove the constant debate over continuing resolutions during the next nine months as Congress focus on oversight of the Obama administration, preparing to fund FY 2013 which begins October 1st ,  and prepares for the 2012 elections.   However, on the other major issues of the week,  House Speaker John A. Boehner said Friday that the House  will not sign off on an extension of the payroll tax cut sought by President Obama without including a provision to force a quick decision on construction of an Keystone XL Pipeline.  As detailed previously even democrats want and know the Keystone Pipeline will both aid in our national security and create needed jobs.  One wonders where President Obama expected all the former military service personnel he has and will be releasing from military duty to go for work.  Large numbers of military will be soon out of uniform and looking for jobs in a period of high unemployment which has been aggravated by the policies of the Obama administration and his activist agencies.

Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 16, 2011:
This afternoon, the House will take up the bipartisan agreement on appropriations bills to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2012). The vehicle for that will be the conference report on the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, H.R. 2055. If the House passes the bill, the Senate is expected to take it up tomorrow.

Discussions continue over extending the payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of this year. House Republicans have already passed a bill that does that without adding to the deficit or raising taxes. The House bill also requires the State Department make a decision on approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which could create tens of thousands of jobs. Republicans are insisting that this provision be included in any final deal.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 86-13 to approve the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization bill, H.R. 1540. Prior to that vote, the Senate voted 95-3 to confirm Morgan Christen to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

As negotiations over a final package to extend tax breaks continue, Republicans are insisting that it include their bill to force the State Department to make a decision on approving the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada through the American heartland to Texas, despite a veto threat from President Obama. Keystone XL would create tens of thousands of jobs and allow the US to get more energy from our northern ally and instead of importing it from the Middle East, yet the president has put off deciding on approval of the project until after next year’s election. But it’s not just Republicans calling for President Obama to set politics aside and approve the pipeline. More and more Democrats are coming out in favor of it.

Josh Brogran has reported that former National Security Advisor Jim Jones has bucked Obama on Keystone XL pipeline and called today for quick action on the Keystone XL pipeline construction, directly opposing the White House he worked for only a few months ago. He said,"In a tightly contested global economy, where securing energy resources is a national must, we should be able to act with speed and agility. And any threat to this project, by delay or otherwise, would constitute a significant setback. The failure to [move forward with the project] will prolong the risk to our economy and our energy security" and "send the wrong message to job creators."

Politico writes today, “House Republican leaders vowed Friday to attach a controversial Keystone pipeline provision to a package extending the payroll tax break, a move that came as Senate negotiators revived talks over a long-term year-end deal. Speaker John Boehner told a closed meeting of the House Republican Conference that he’s hunkering down on the pipeline provision in legislation to extend the tax holiday, jobless benefits and the Medicare reimbursement rate. In a closed meeting in the Capitol, the Ohio Republican said if the Senate sends the lower chamber a two-month extension of jobless benefits, the payroll tax holiday and the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians, ‘we’ll amend it and send something back.’ ‘And what we send back will include Keystone,’ Boehner said to applause, according to two sources in the room.”

On Wednesday night, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Larry Kudlow on CNBC, “There has to be something in there, Larry, . . . that creates jobs, the Keystone pipeline, ready to go, we’ve already had 3 years of environmental studies, the president’s trying to put it off until after the election because it makes his active environmentalists angry. The Keystone pipeline’s supported by the Teamsters, supported by the AFL-CIO, supported by everybody in the country who wants to create jobs—doesn’t cost the government a penny. [It] needs to be a part of the package.”

As even liberal news site TPM notes, “Republicans are still pushing hard for a rider that would force the Obama administration to make a swift decision on the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Democrats, both on the Hill and at the White House, are softening their opposition to this demand.”

Yesterday,  the Great Falls [Montana] Tribune reported that Montana's  Democrat governor, Brian Schweitzer, “announced that the state has approved a permit for Calgary-based TransCanada to construct a large oil pipeline [Keystone XL] across six Eastern Montana counties. “The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project, which would cross five states and ship oil from the oil sands in northern Alberta to U.S. refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast, still requires approval from the U.S. State Department before construction can begin. . . . In Montana, where the line would cross 281 miles of farmland, TransCanada has fulfilled its obligations under the Major Facility Siting Act, Schweitzer said . . . . The state Department of Environmental Quality plans to issue the state certificate to the company in several weeks. The pipeline will involve more than $1 billion in construction in Montana. The project would create approximately 1,200 high-paying construction jobs and could raise as much as $60 million in property taxes annually for schools, counties and the state .  . ."

Meanwhile, more  Democrats are also calling for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) told an Alaska TV station yesterday, “I support the project. I think the president’s view on this, of waiting, I think doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is a project that could provide lots of jobs to this country… I think the president’s wrong on delaying this, and I think there are a lot of good jobs relating to this, and again [it’s oil] from a friendly country, Canada.” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said earlier this week, “I personally think the pipeline is absolutely in the national interest.”  Sen. John Tester (D-MT) said, “I am proud to again offer my support for the Keystone XL pipeline and the jobs it will create. We need a quicker decision, based on the merits of this project. . . . I do not believe we should have to wait until January of 2013 for a decision that can create American jobs right now. In Montana, we need the jobs.” And according to The Hill, “Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La) said Keystone has the backing of several Democrats. ‘It’s always had more Democratic support than people thought'” Landrieu also told a Fox News reporter that she’d support including the Keystone pipeline in the payroll tax cut bill.

As The Wall Street Journal editors write today, “This is the most shovel-ready project in America, as the TransCanada company has already made plans to buy the steel pipe to carry crude oil from Canada and the Upper Great Plains to the Gulf of Mexico. The pipeline would create thousands of new jobs, both immediately and downstream, which is why the Teamsters and other unions support it. But Mr. Obama's green financiers see the pipeline as a conveyer of evil carbon, and so the President recently postponed any decision past the election into 2013. Now, that's economic leadership. To give Mr. Obama a spinal implant, the House passed a provision that would give TransCanada a permit to start building in 60 days if the President does nothing. He can still kill the pipeline if he objects. But at least Hamlet of Pennsylvania Avenue would have to make up his mind.”

Tags: Washington, D.C. Us house, US Senate, government budgets, funding, spending, Keystone Pipeline, jobs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:58 PM - Post Link

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