First week of 114th Congress

The first week of the new Congress and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has cleared a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline by a vote of 12 to 9. All of the Republicans and Joe Manchin voting in favor, nine Democrats against it. The Democrats against it promptly said wait a minute, this is going too fast. Mitch McConnell had scheduled Monday or Tuesday for action on the bill on the floor of the Senate so that by the end of the second week he was determined to get the Keystone XL pipeline approval to the president’s desk and then let him deal with it. Democrats have now said slow down or we will filibuster. Wasn’t the filibuster the obstructionist Republican Party not too long ago?   Everything is different when the majority shoe is on the other foot.

Manchin is interesting, he has teamed up with Senator Hogan of North Dakota and in a bipartisan basis the two of them are going after this thing and they say that they have 60 votes to overcome the filibuster and they think they’ll do it very quickly. In fact, the bill already has 60 signed cosponsors. Keep in mind that there are only 54 Republicans, so 60 signed cosponsors meaning some Democrats are already onboard.

I know they’re quick to admit they don’t have the 67 needed if Obama does veto the bill. There are a number of people who have in the past said they were in support of the Keystone XL pipeline and in some cases voting for it. For instance in the lame-duck congress, they had a vote. That was when Mary Landrieu member of the call the bluff on it and fell one vote short.


It’s interesting to see now, that the president is back on his heels, saying he is going to veto an infrastructure project that you been harping on for six years. (The real reason why Obama won’t approve the Keystone pipeline: ). Good middle-class jobs, union jobs, all the rest you have been harping on, you got 42,000 jobs, directly or indirectly related to this pipeline project (this is in your own State Department report, not conjecture, not just guessing) and you are going to veto it.

I would like to see the party of ‘NO’ switch over to the president’s party.


So what are the rest of the Democrats doing? Well the Senate minority whip is Dick Durbin from Illinois and he said, “Now is the time to raise the gas tax.” Keep in mind whose side they are on, folks. The Republicans are saying no to new taxes. The Democrats in the first week of the new Congress are saying let us raise taxes.  Their answer to why falling gas prices, good let us raise the gas tax.

Of course, it’s very regressive for poor people will be hit a lot harder than rich people. So Durbin says that to shield low-income families from this higher gas tax, we will issue a refundable tax credits. Thanks, I have less money each week to buy groceries and pay other bills. Then at the end of the year, I have to total up all my receipts or take the standard deduction and get maybe ½ to 2/3 of what I actually paid and I have to wait at least two months to get it. That is what the Democrats think about us common folk.

What is Durbin going to do with the extra money? Pay down the debt? No, he’s going to give it for research to the Energy and Transportation Departments, “So we can continue to build more fuel-efficient vehicles.” He is going to subsidize big automakers to build fuel-efficient vehicles that the public may or may not buy. For instance when the president visited the fuel-efficient Ford vehicle plant on 1/7/2015 The Union had to hire workers to be in the audience because the plant was on an indefinite lay-off because nobody is buying these cars.



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