Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trying to stop the inexcusable

Finally -- FINALLY! -- House Republicans are actually making an attempt to stop the destructive policies of the Obama administration, this time by slipping in approval for the Keystone XL pipeline in a bill extending unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut.  Naturally, Obama is not happy:
President Obama on Tuesday threatened to veto the payroll-tax-cut package put forward by House Republicans.
The formal veto threat did not mention a provision in the legislation that would expedite a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but it did state that Republicans should stop trying to score political points on the tax-cut bill.

“With only days left before taxes go up for 160 million hardworking Americans, H.R. 3630 plays politics at the expense of middle-class families,” the administration said in its statement of policy. “This debate should not be about scoring political points. This debate should be about cutting taxes for the middle class.

“If the president were presented with H.R. 3630, he would veto the bill.”

The House could vote as early as Tuesday afternoon on the tax bill, which also extends and reforms unemployment insurance benefits, averts cuts to physician payments under Medicare and delays implementation of environmental regulations on industrial boilers.

House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office said the veto threat "amounts to legislative malpractice" since it is based on "fictitious" reasoning.
The GOP is criticizing the White House for saying the deal would "inevitably lead to pressure to cut investments in areas like education and clean energy," a contention Republicans say is false.
"After the House passes the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, the Democrats who run Washington will have to act. The Senate can take up our bill and amend it, or they can pass their own bill. But they can’t continue to shirk their responsibility to govern. America can’t wait,” spokesman Michael Steel said in a reference to the Obama administration's "we can't wait" motto.
Allahpundit has the analysis:
The payroll tax is going to be extended, rest assured, but right now we’re still in the kabuki phase where each side tries to maneuver the other into a difficult/embarrassing negotiating position to help with its campaign messaging later. Last week it was Obama’s turn to claim that the GOP hates the middle class or whatever because it wouldn’t agree to a payroll-tax extension coupled with a new surtax on millionaires. Today it’s the GOP’s turn to claim that Obama hates jobs because he won’t agree to a payroll-tax extension coupled with a provision that would speed up approval of the Keystone oil pipeline. Which, of course, is a dastardly lie: The One doesn’t hate jobs, he simply hates anything that might get in the way of his reelection. And if that means taking a pass on creating thousands of new positions in the energy industry in order to appease environmentalists, then hey.


Obama threatened to veto this thing if it reaches his desk, but Senate Democrats will almost certainly make sure that doesn’t happen. Still, a useful talking point for Newt or Mitt (or Ron?) next year: So deep in the tank is O for the green lobby that not only will he turn down a new job-creating energy project, he’ll actually sacrifice a tax-cut extension for the middle class to do so.
Doug Powers has more:
President Obama has threatened a veto of any bill with the Keystone XL in it so as to not lose the coveted Daryl Hannah endorsement.
The pipeline would create between 6,000 and 20,000 US jobs, depending on whose estimate you use. Obama claimed that the payroll tax break and unemployment extension would create more jobs than the pipeline (pause for laughter).
The bill will have trouble getting through a Dem-controlled Senate that claims to need more time for careful analysis:
Reid and other Democrats argue the pipeline project requires more study and should not be fast-tracked as part of a political calculation by Republicans.
An oil pipeline should be studied meticulously over the course of years before being built, but more trivial bills like ones that take control of the entire country’s health care system qualify for fast-tracking and hasty implementation? That sounds about right.
I hate to break it to Republicans, but the extension of unemployment benefits is a good thing.  It will not create jobs, as Obama nonsensically claims it will, but it will tide people over until the jobs come back, which likely will not be until Obama is out of office. 

In large part thanks to inexcusable decisions like Obama "punting" on the Keystone XL pipeline, which is actually a prelude to stopping it altogether:
The Obama administration wants to push that decision off until after the next election, which indicates that they want to kill it without paying a political price.  Republicans want to get the benefit of the project’s job creation — ironically, which will benefit union pipefitters most, in all likelihood — and force Obama to assume political responsibility for the decision sooner rather than later or not at all.
This may be the single most disgraceful act of the Obama administration, and, after all the disgusting acts of this administration (Eric Holder's crime du jour, the EPA, abandoning the Iranian democracy activists, trying to overthrow a pro-US government in Haiti, insulting Britain, etc.) that's saying something.  The US can only be hurt by stopping or even delaying the Keystone XL pipeline; in no universe could the US benefit. But Obama does not seem to care about US interests in this case.

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