Republicans believe that after weeks of taking a pounding from Obama over the payroll tax issue, they finally found a rallying point over the Keystone pipeline. “Everybody sees the president’s delay on the Keystone pipeline [for] what it is: He doesn’t want to choose between his political base, labor and environmentalists,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who heads up the Republican Conference’s 2012 efforts. But even though Democratic senators like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas support the pipeline project, top Senate Democrats are confident they’ll remove “extraneous” GOP provisions. – Politico
Right-leaning The Hill news outlet has a different take.
For House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), there’s nothing like a presidential veto threat to make his job easier.
Pres. Obama delaying his decision on the Keystone Pipeline is like everything he does, it’s about his reelection and motivated by politics.
But while Republicans won’t tax millionaires, they are also trying to cut federal unemployment insurance benefits substantially too, as almost 1 million people are about to see the end to the aid in January.
So this is a very interesting development with the Keystone gambit smart for Republicans if they’d give on the millionaire surtax, but they won’t. It would also provide Pres. Obama an out, something that’s always appreciated by any politician.
If he caves on Keystone, it’s like what he did last year on extending the Bush tax cuts, but lately Obama doesn’t seem to be in that same mood. In 2010, he’d just come off a brutal shellacking in the midterms. Looking at Republicans today, Newt at the top of the ticket, with Santa coming early giving Obama reelect The Donald’s Apprentice debate (if it still happens, because most aren’t showing up), Pres. Obama is in the power position.
Nothing counts unless the Senate can pass the bill. But if they do, something that doesn’t happen often these days, and it comes to Pres. Obama’s desk, will he actually veto it?
In the background is what Barack Obama would likely do in a second term, with no political threat left. I believe he’d okay the Keystone Pipeline, because he’d be safe to rack up what the White House would call accomplishments. This isn’t Yucca Mountain, which I lived through out west. There’s a lot of ignorance about the environmental dangers of Keystone, with Democrats like former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell saying that people will be protected environmentally from the dangers of what the Keystone could bring.
So, imagine a Cordray recess appointment, coupled with an Obama veto on a bill that extends the payroll tax and unemployment insurance, because of Keystone is included.
It would be an interesting way to end the year, with Obama cornering Republicans on raising taxes just as 2012 rolls in.