Keystone XL Tax Cut Rider: GOP’s Cudgel or Black Eye?

Keystone XL Tax Cut Rider: GOP’s Cudgel or Black Eye?

Bungled strategy to fast-track oil sands pipeline likely to give Obama leverage.

By Elizabeth McGowan, InsideClimate News

WASHINGTON—House Republicans keep trying to give President Obama a political black eye by wielding the 36-inch diameter Keystone XL pipeline as a cudgel just before Christmas.

Instead, they could end up severely maiming only themselves if they persist with end-of-year legislative theatrics at what some are referring to as the “Capitol Hill Playhouse” this week.

“It’s quite a sandbox, isn’t it?” Pat Parenteau, a Vermont Law School professor who specializes in Congress and environmental issues, told InsideClimate News. “I think their strategy has backfired and that they’ve roped themselves with this political gambit. This idea that you have to keep introducing ideology into every issue, that will be their undoing.”

Parenteau is referring to House Republicans’ insistence on gumming up a straightforward bill to extend a payroll tax break for 160 million Americans with language that would force Obama to fast-track approval or denial of the $7 billion, hotly contested pipeline.

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