It's never say die, for some Republicans.
BALTIMORE – House Republicans, undaunted by the payroll tax holiday debacle that dinged their conference last month, said Friday that they were considering using the Keystone XL Pipeline as a chip in the next round of negotiations over the tax break, as part of their overall efforts to push back against White House policies this year.
“We are going to be looking at every option to keep this issue at the forefront,” said Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee and a member of the bicameral conference committee tasked with coming up with a bill to extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits through the rest of the year.
Mr. Upton said that reviving the 1,700-mile pipeline project, which would stretch from Canada to the Gulf Coast and which President Obama rejected this week for now, would likely be a contingency Republicans would seek in the tax break negotiations. “Certainly that is within the scope of the conference,” he said. [...]
Upending Mr. Obama administration’s decision on Keystone, which Speaker John A. Boehner said this week was “not the end of the fight,” is one of the central goals of the Republican agenda this year. Republicans chose to highlight the issue in their first news conference here, and this week sent out e-mail blasts highlighting all the editorials from around the country criticizing the president’s decision and drawing attention to Congressional Democrats who oppose it.
“We’re going to do everything we can to keep in on the front burner” Mr. Upton said.
Democrats will likely reject that effort entirely, so Boehner will have to find another way to insure his healthy investment profits out of this project.
But what these Republicans are intent on ignoring is the fact that their interference is gumming up the only path to approval for the pipeline, anyway. It has to go through Nebraska. The Nebraska legislature has determined that Transcanada has to find a new route, it has to be approved by the Nebraska DEQ, and then by the State Department, if it will be approved at all.
So the House GOP can bluster all it wants, and try to screw up tax cuts to the middle class in order to try to make the pointless political point. But it's not going to win them much favor with the electorate.