A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If the Congress can fight, we can get the Keystone Pipeline

Jack Kemp

Red State's Daniel Horowitz proposes a plan that Congressional Republicans who actually believe in fighting for our country's present and future should go to the wall to pass. If the Democrats kill this, they will have, in my opinion, handed the Presidency to the GOP on a silver platter.

Mr. Horowitz writes:

Immediately prior to the congressional recess in December, Congress passed an inefficacious two-month extension of the Social Security tax cut. Additionally, they reauthorized another two months of unprecedented long-term unemployment benefits, along with more spending for Medicare ‘doc fix.’ None of it, including the entitlement spending, was paid for in any meaningful way.

Nevertheless, you might ask, didn’t we get the Keystone pipeline as part of the deal? Well, in reality we got nothing.

It is not too late to force Obama’s hand on the pipeline. According to the latest CRS legal analysis,
“[I]f 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.”

Congress’s power over foreign commerce is plainly enumerated by the Constitution, suggesting that its authority in this field is preeminent.”

In other words, Congress has plenary power to either absolutely force Obama to issue the permit or to issue it themselves.

The House should immediately pass Keystone legislation, either in a standalone bill or as part of other “must-pass” legislation. They should ship it off to the Senate and let the 23 Democrats who are up for election stand before their constituents and kill job creation. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of voters agree.

In other words, the Republicans should act as if they know who returned them to some power in 2010, the Tea Party, and not act like some country club members contemplating whether to get new wall paper for the main dining room or install iPhone phone charging stations in the main hall. There is a lot here at stake, i.e., both the jobs of out of work Americans - and soon to be out of work Congresspeople. When my own district threw out Anthony Weiner's Democrat successor, they weren't looking to continue the policies of Bob Michel and Charles Halleck - and Thurston Howell III - from a half century ago.

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