Yesterday, the President announced his opposition to the House’s end of the year proposal to ensure taxes don’t go up on anyone, extends unemployment insurance and includes the “doc fix” because of the job-creating Keystone pipeline project. Earlier this year the House passed a bill to approve the Keystone pipeline with bipartisan support – the measure also has broad bipartisan support in the Senate. But now the President is pledging to veto this responsible bill and the Keystone project that would create over 20,000 new jobs, again showing he is not serious about working together to get the economy going and create jobs.
Meanwhile, the House continues to work on bipartisan jobs bills. Today, we will vote to ensure farmers, ranchers and rural business owners are not forced to give more money to the federal government, at a time when they can least afford it. House Republicans remain committed to producing results for the people that sent us here and that is why we need to end the year by moving forward on common sense solutions that will spur economic growth and job creation.
Today In History: In 1940, the Chicago Bears trounced the Washington Redskins in the National Football League (NFL) Championship by a score of 73-0, the largest margin of defeat in NFL history. By the end of the second half officials were asking Halas not to let his team kick for extra points, as they were running out of footballs after too many had been kicked into the stands.
Birthdays: Rep. Raul Labrador, Nicki Minaj, Sammy Davis Jr, Jim Morrison, Teri Hatcher, Dwight Howard, Jeff Tremaine and Lizzie O'Leary
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: Republicans Call On President Obama To Join Them In Acting On Jobs
Speaker Boehner Calls On President Obama To Approve The Keystone Pipeline. On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) cited Harper’s support for the Keystone project and called on Obama to move forward. “Prime Minister Harper has made clear that if this project is not approved, American competitors, such as China, will gain from our loss,” Boehner said in a statement. “This project is good for the economy, and it’s good for America’s energy security. . . . It is my hope that the President will use today’s meeting with the Prime Minister to announce the project’s approval. If he doesn’t, the House is prepared to act to accelerate the approval so that we can put tens of thousands of Americans back to work.” Boehner was citing efforts by Congressional Republicans to force the president to act. Some Congressional Democrats, along with labor unions, also have supported the pipeline as a way to create jobs. The Washington Post
Rep. Whitfield: President Obama Is Focused On Politics When The Focus Should Be On Jobs. Republicans say they’re confident that the pipeline project will both attract votes for the year-end package and corner the president into either moving forward on the pipeline or explaining to the public why the administration is holding up a project that could create tens of thousands of jobs. “We're going to push now. We think it's important. The president's being political and we need to create jobs," said Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican who chairs an Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Politico
• Moving Forward On Keystone Has Strong Bipartisan Support In The House. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), one of 47 Democrats who crossed party lines to vote for a Keystone XL bill earlier this year, said he’s inclined to vote for the GOP’s version of the payroll tax cut measure. “I think the president’s wrong on this,” said Cardoza, who is retiring after this Congress. “He can veto whatever he wants, but those are both policies I support.” Cardoza said the U.S. “built the whole friggin’ Pentagon in 18 months” and “this country has got to get back to a place where we can get things done.” Politico
Sometimes A Headline Says It All - Keystone Overshadows U.S.-Canada Border Deal
• “If President Obama threatens to veto it over a provision that creates American jobs, that's a fight we're ready to have," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel in a statement. CBS News
State Of Play (2): House Votes To Bring Back Accountability, Expand Opportunity For Businesses To Grow, Expand, and Hire
Leader Cantor: The REINS Act Holds Washington Regulators Accountable. “Regulatory reform and smart regulation are key parts of our jobs plan to help boost job creation and economic growth. This fall, the House has worked to repeal the most harmful regulations coming from the Obama Administration and implemented common sense reforms to the regulatory process. The REINS Act holds Washington regulators accountable by requiring Congress to vote on regulations that would impose significant new costs on the small businessmen and women who we are counting on to create jobs. We cannot have a federal bureaucracy run amok if we are going to be a country where start-ups happen, risks are taken, businesses flourish, and jobs are created. I thank Chairman David Dreier, Chairman Lamar Smith and Congressman Geoff Davis for sponsoring this bipartisan bill to bring transparency and accountability to the regulatory process, so we can expand opportunities for businesses to grow, expand and hire.” Release
Whip McCarthy: Washington Shouldn’t Be Making It Harder For Small Business To Succeed By Burying Them In Red Tape. “America’s small businesses are the engine of economic growth and job creation, and Washington shouldn’t be making it more difficult for them to succeed,” said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, California Republican. “Under Democrat-controlled Washington, the federal government has become a factory of red tape.” A Washington Times analysis shows that 15 bills aimed at curtailing the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, the Energy Department and other agencies have passed the House this year. Yet all are stuck in the Senate, where Democratic leaders have little appetite to bring them to the floor for a vote. The Washington Times
• Rep. Geoff Davis: The REINS Act Returns Accountability To Washington. “The point of the REINS Act is accountability,” Davis said. “Each member of Congress must take a stand and be accountable for regulations that will have the greatest impact on our economy. Regulatory compliance costs small businesses an estimated $10,500 per employee annually. At a time of high unemployment, we must do something about this massive burden. No longer would Congress be able to avoid accountability by writing vague laws requiring the benefits up front and leaving the unpopular or costly elements up to the bureaucrats who will write those elements of the law at some later date. ” Cincinnati.com
Regulatory Row: House To Prevent EPA From Imposing More Costly Regulations On Farmers, Ranchers, and Business Owners
Rep. Robert Hurt: The Farm Dust Prevention Act Will Ensure The EPA Cannot Impose A One Size Fits-All Standard On Rural Communities. While it is true that federal regulations are necessary in certain instances, there are too many that are simply unnecessary. These regulations drive up costs for job creators while providing uncertainty in the process — placing undue burdens on those who are struggling to make ends meet. One such example was brought to me by a Southside small business owner last year. He told me he was reprimanded by a regulator about the amount of “fugitive dust” coming from the dirt driveway leading into his facility. The regulator indicated that the business owner needed to take active measures to decrease the amount of dust generated on his property or face enforcement action. I have heard from countless others who say that the ever-changing and abundant number of government regulations threaten the livelihood of their businesses. That is why I am pleased to see that the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, a bipartisan bill I co-authored with Rep. Kristi Noem, is scheduled to be voted on in the House today. This legislation will protect our farmers, small businesses and rural communities from the threat of the EPA’s otherwise unchecked ability to put forth more stringent regulations when it comes to naturally-occurring dust, which would result in lost jobs and lost productivity for these businesses. … If deemed to exceed coarse particulate matter standards set forth by the EPA, this naturally-occurring dust would lead to unimaginable increased costs to those in violation of the standards. That is why the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act gives states and local government’s flexibility and ensures that the EPA cannot impose a one-size-fits-all dust standard for rural communities. … By advancing policies such as the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, we will create more certainty for our job creators, we will remove the roadblocks posed by excessive regulations, and we will get our economy back on the right track. The Martinsville Bulletin
Rep. Mike Pompeo: It’s Time For The EPA To Stop Playing In The Dust. Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency would like to regulate farm dust all across the nation. I know it sounds ridiculous, but given the Obama administration's demonstrated hostility toward rural America, it should not come as a huge surprise. … Rather than helping farmers, ranchers, business owners and other entrepreneurs, EPA continually bombards these job creators with undue and costly new regulations. The agriculture sector is now holding its collective breath as EPA considers new air quality standards, which it revises every five years. … Opponents of our efforts call the desire to regulate farm dust a "myth" and liken these concerns to worrying about regulation of fairy dust. While these theatrics garnered some snickers, I was not amused -- and neither were the 500 plus Kansas Farm Bureau members I met with just before Thanksgiving who agree that this is a real problem. … It's time to forget about regulating farm dust and give rural America some breathing room from the crushing regulations of which this administration is so fond. The Washington Examiner
Another Wave Of Solyndra’s? President Obama's Green-Car Efforts Sputter - Analysts Warn Of Forced Shutdowns. The Obama administration has poured roughly $5 billion in taxpayer funds into the electric-car industry, offering incentives to manufacturers, their suppliers and even car buyers who might want to go green. But analysts say the risk is rising that taxpayers in many cases will not see a return on their money soon, if ever. Instead, they warn that some federally subsidized companies could be forced to shut down in coming months. … For President Obama, who has made clean-technology investment a hallmark of his job creation efforts, troubles in the electric-car sector pose a potential new political problem after the collapse of solar-panel maker Solyndra, which recently defaulted on a half-billion-dollar federal loan after filing for bankruptcy. The Washington Post
A Closer Look: Are Senate Democrats Playing Politics With Benefits For Our Troops? Senate Armed Services ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.), who managed the defense measure on a bipartisan basis with Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), said he saw firsthand how Democrats used parliamentary and procedural tools to prevent Brown from getting approval for his proposals. For example, McCain said Brown's amendment to increase financial benefits for National Guardsmen who get deployed overseas was originally accepted by Democrats as part of standard negotiations governing which amendments would be allowed to receive a vote. … However, the amendment later became subject to an anonymous hold, with Democrats requesting that a proposal by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) be voted on in its place, McCain said. He added that her amendment had previously been rejected by the Republicans as unacceptable. But McCain suggested that the manager's package of additional amendments died because it included a second Brown proposal — this one involving military tuition assistance — for which Democrats did not want the Massachusetts Republican to be able to take credit. McCain said he has "no doubt" political considerations motivated Democrats to stall Brown's amendments. Roll Call