The Do-Nothing Senate's Pipeline to Hell
President Barack Obama likes blaming a "do-nothing" Congress for his sad record as president. But is that entirely fair? Blaming all of Congress for the US Senate's failure to act would be like Achilles blaming his entire leg for his vulnerable heel.
Speaking of heels, it’s the Senate leadership that is sitting on the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, aka the payroll tax cut bill. The bill would continue payroll tax cuts for 160 million Americans, and require approval for the Keystone XL Pipeline (KXP). The Canadian pipeline provides two benefits: thousands of American jobs and an increased flow of oil into a country with no real energy policy.
The job estimates for KXP vary from 6,000 to over 100,000. The project manager for the proposed pipeline, TransCanada, estimates the jobs to be 20,000.
President Obama has not said that he will not approve the pipeline, but wants to delay his decision until after the 2012 elections. Excuse me? That's like telling your boss that you'll just wait to finish that all-important project until after your employee review. The construction jobs would be nearly immediate and could be honestly called "shovel ready," like the jobs that the stimulus bill was going to create, except these will really exist.
We need the oil, we need the jobs and Barack Obama is busy rehearsing for the lead role in Hamlet. The only reason anyone waits until after an election is political. So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Hades) is helping not just President Obama, but his odds of retaining control of a US Senate renowned for its ability to navel-gaze as our economy collapses.
While busy not passing the payroll tax cut bill, Reid fills his spare time with not passing other bills designed to create jobs. In addition to the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, there are 26 other job creation bills sitting in Reid's hopper awaiting some action by the Do-Nothing Senate. That inaction means no debate, no possibility of a compromise and no relief for millions of unemployed Americans. That's 27 job-creating bills that Reid is busy not passing; he's a very busy man.Continued on the next page