President Obama is finding himself increasingly boxed in on the Keystone pipeline fight as more Congressional Democrats are joining Republicans in backing the project, which has strong labor support and could generate significant numbers of jobs in economically hard-hit states.
On Wednesday, the House passed a short-term transportation bill that included a provision that would pave the way for the construction of the next stage of the oil pipeline, a measure that Mr. Obama has said he would veto. The bill passed 293 to 127, with 69 Democrats supporting it.
The Senate version of the bill doesn’t have this language, so off we go to conference: and the Democrats are keeping down the trash-talk this go round. ‘Course, with gas prices hovering around just under four dollars per gallon ($3.88 /gallon today, to be precise), they’re not really in a good place to have their egos write checks that their Senate majority status can’t cash. I figure this will kind of languish until gas prices hit $4.25 a gallon, at which point Senate Democrats will panic, cave, and sign off on the blipping pipeline. Then it’s up to the President to make the call about whether to back up his tough talk with action; good thing that the Democrats have been encouraging Barack Obama to make hard decisions…
…Oh. Right. They haven’t. Ach, well, his problem, not mine.