President Barack Obama said he will reject a GOP bill that would fund an extension of payroll tax cuts because it would also jump-start the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which promises to employ more than 10,000 workers and decrease gasoline prices in the United States.
“Any effort to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject. So everybody can be on notice,” he said, during an afternoon press conference with Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. The pipeline starts in Canada and is strongly opposed by U.S. environmentalists.
“I don’t expect to have to veto it because I expect they’re going to have enough sense over on Capitol Hill to do the people’s business and not try to load it up with a bunch of politics,” Obama added.
Obama’s decision to punt the XL pipeline until after next year’s election, appease the Luddite greens in his base, was itself political. His ploy to use the payroll tax cut extension to position himself as a tax cutter is also political. The whole bloody thing is political. The Republicans at least want to get something, somewhere, going in the economy while patching up a rift that Obama’s ridiculous XL decision has created with Canada.
But Obama will veto that. For the politics.