Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Republican Pipe Dreams
Sounds like a good thing, right? Sounds like something that should have bi-partisan support, right?
Before the vote, President Obama had already claimed he'd veto it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it wouldn't get that far, vowing he'd kill the bill himself in the Senate. “The bill passed by House Republicans tonight is a pointless partisan exercise," roared Reid, from the well of the Senate floor. "The bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. It was dead before it got to the Senate.”
It passed in the House, 234 to 193, largely along party lines.
The Bill does extend a "temporary" payroll tax cit, giving most of us an extra $20 a week. It does block a reduction in Medicare doctor reimbursements for another two years. It extends unemployment benefits, although it requires drug testing and GED programs for unemployment beneficiaries who never graduated from high school. It even blocks a scheduled pay raise for ... gasp! ... Congress.
So what the hell happened? The Keystone XL pipeline. That's a plan to draw oil from Canada all the way to the Gulf Coast, and it was inserted into the Bill. Unions want it because it will create 20-25,000 jobs from the get go. It would also reduce dependence on the Middle East. But environmentalists hate it for a myriad of reasons. Obama is undecided, is waiting for environmental studies, and resents having it shoved down his throat.
“While our nation fights to overcome the prolonged economic downtown, this bill advances numerous policies that are critical to the American people and domestic job creators,” explains Dent. “By passing H.R. 3630, the House has taken the first step to prevent a tax increase on hard-working Americans by extending temporary payroll tax relief for an additional year. The bill also extends the federal unemployment insurance program while implementing common-sense reforms that will help more Americans get back to work, and ensures countless seniors maintain access to their current doctors by preventing a 27.4% cut to physicians’ Medicare reimbursement rates next year.”
“Furthermore, H.R 3630 addresses excessive federal regulations that stifle job growth in numerous sectors of our economy and extends 100 percent business expensing through 2012 to allow job creators to invest in their growth,” continues Dent. “Finally, H.R. 3630 establishes a process for the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline. Not only will the construction of this crucial infrastructure create thousands of jobs for American workers, it will also provide the energy resources needed to fuel our economic recovery.”