Although House Republicans have obstructed many of President Obama’s initiatives with fillibuster threats, amendments and block voting, Obama has called for the extension of the payroll tax holiday for the next year. Leaders of both parties agree with the extension and were trying to work out exactly how it would work.
It looked like a bipartisan go – until Speaker Boehner decided to throw a totally unrelated issue into the extension bill. Approval of the TransCanada pipeline is now part of the payroll legislation. This make no sense at all
Although it would create thousands of new jobs, Mr. Obama has held up approval of the pipeline over environmental concerns. The Administration has not vetoed the pipeline.
Dragging the pipeline issue into a debate on a crucial part of Obama’s recovery/jobs bill is a way to scuffle payroll tax relief and increase everyone’s taxes this year.
The Senate will most likely reject the pipeline issue, so either it would be taken out of the legislation during conference or be vetoed when it goes to the President’s desk.
These types of gimmicks are not restricted to the GOP. Congressional rules allow either party to scum up the works of lawmakers. They certainly don’t serve the electorate.