Obama Will Veto Payroll Tax Cut if Tar Sands Pipeline Approval is Attached

President Obama told Republicans that he will veto the  extension of the payroll tax if it forces approval of the tar sands pipeline as an extraneous attachment.

He told reporters: "Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut I will reject," along with any other "extraneous" provisions added to it.

Republicans have been trying to extract a price for approving the payroll tax, which is a strong priority for Obama.

Earlier this week, they said they would attach a bill that strips the President’s and State Department’s authority to decide on whether the tar sands pipeline goes through. It would force the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to make a decision in 30 days, and substantially restricting FERC’s discretion to reject the project in the process.

They’re also targeting EPA air pollution rules that would regulate emissions from industrial boilers.

After meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Harper today, President Obama made it clear that the orderly process for evaluating the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would stand, despite efforts in Congress to rush to judgment and speed up the timeline.

In statements to the press, the President reiterated that he will consider the future of our environment and the impact on Americans’ health and safety in his decision over whether to allow the proposed project.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), says Republicans welcome that showdown because it they will defend projects that "create jobs."

Obama says the payroll tax cut should be extended on own merits, and it should not be held "hostage," as have so many bills.

"I don’t expect to have to veto it because I expect they are going to have enough sense over on Capitol Hill to do the people’s business and not try and load it up with a bunch of politics," he says.

In other political news, the GOP is blocking Obama’s nominee to head the new Consumer Protection Agency, formed under the Dodd-Frank Act after the financial meltdown.

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Comments on “Obama Will Veto Payroll Tax Cut if Tar Sands Pipeline Approval is Attached”

  1. Joe

    Can the Repubs get any more sleazier and against the common interests of the people? This is egregious on so many levels.
    Does anybody know where to go to help fight against this tar crap?

  2. Khamnome

    We have a similar siittuaon down here in Tasmania (the little island at the south end of Australia). It’s a pristine region with lots of native virgin forests. Unfortunately there is a constant battle between jobs (a.k.a. the logging industry) and environmental protection. The environmental movement has had some wins over the years as the economy has been good and jobs are strong. I feel however that as the economy drops off, jobs will become a hot topic again and the environment will loose out. The economy has cycles every decade or two. The cycle (e.g. recovery) for the environment on the other hand however can be many hundreds or thousands of years. We can’t let short term economic cycles dictate our environmental policies policies that should be sent much further in advance.


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