How many speeches has Barack Obama given on jobs? How many times has he said the economy is his number one priority? Unfortunately, his rhetoric doesn't match his actions. The only suitable job worth creating to him is a government job. When it came time to approve the Keystone Pipeline, a project that would transport oil from Canada to the refineries in the Gulf states, Obama said no. Tens of thousands of jobs would have been created, but politics won the day. Now, GOP members of the U.S. Senate are using the Constitution in an attempt to approve the pipeline without Obama's consent.
As reported by The Hill, Senate Republicans "floated legislation Monday that would bypass the Obama administration and approve TransCanada Corp.'s pipeline."
The bill goes further than the GOP provision in December's payroll tax cut deal, which simply imposed a deadline for a decision on the Obama administration -- one that President Obama met early when he rejected the project on Jan. 18.
"This new bill is a lot like the old one, but it makes it definitive that Congress has the authority to push the Keystone XL pipeline forward," said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who sponsored the measure along with Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).
The GOP senators have confidence in their approach thanks to a study by the Congressional Research Service. The report states that the "U.S. Congress has the constitutional right to legislate permits for cross-border oil pipelines like TransCanada's Keystone XL."
Historically, U.S. presidents have made executive decisions on pipelines that cross borders. But Congress had the power all along to weigh in on the permits, said the study, done by four legislative attorneys with the CRS.
"If Congress chose to assert its authority in the area of border-crossing facilities, this would likely be considered within its Constitutionally enumerated authority to regulate foreign commerce," the study said.
Obama halted approval of the pipelined, because he said that the environmental impacts were unknown and further study was required. Give me a break! Is creating jobs the good-old-fashioned way that foreign to him?
The Senate bill currently has 44 sponsors comprised of 43 Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin from West Virginia. Passage through the Senate would be iffy at best, but the GOP-controlled House would surely follow suit if a bill made it out of the Senate. But even then, Obama could veto the measure.
Veto or not, the GOP should push forward with this effort, because it is the right thing to do. Let Obama defend his job-killing actions in an election year, and see how the American people respond.