The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

President Obama’s schedule yesterday shows exactly where his focus is - and it's not on creating jobs. As ABC News put it, the President spent “twice as long in New York City fighting for his own, attending four re-election fundraisers that will net millions of dollars for his escalating campaign.” Despite his claims that he will do whatever it takes to create jobs, he's doing the opposite. He blocked the Keystone pipeline project that would create 20,000 new jobs, has made no time to work with Congress or take up the recommendation of his own Jobs Council that's endorsed many of the House-passed bipartisan jobs bills. Especially in this economy, the American people need the President to stick to his pledge to focus on jobs, instead of focusing on the campaign trail.

Today In History: In 1981, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th president of the United States.

Birthdays: Buzz Aldrin, Rainn Wilson, Paul Stanley, and Ozzie Guillen

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …


State Of Play: Opposition Continues To Mount Against President Obama’s Keystone Decision

Speaker Boehner On Keystone: This Fight Is Not Going Away, All Options Are On The Table. Congressional supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline are exploring legislation that might circumvent the Obama administration's denial of a permit for the project by letting Congress or an independent federal agency approve it. United after the State Department denied the permit Wednesday, Republicans in both chambers vowed they would push proposals to force approval of the pipeline. "All options are on the table," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters. "This fight is not going to go away." The Houston Chronicle

Chairman Upton On Keystone: President Obama’s Keystone Decision Was Purely Political, This Should Have Been A No-Brainer. WSJM

14 Of The Top 15 Editorial Boards Come Out Against President Obama’s Decision To Reject Keystone. Editorial board sentiment is running overwhelmingly against President Obama's decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. Of the nation's top 15 newspapers by circulation, only one — the New York Times — editorialized in favor of killing the pipeline. … Obama's hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, called the decision political "shadow boxing." … The conservative (and generally disapproving) Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote, "Such green delusions are sad, and Mr. Obama's pandering is sadder, though everything the country stands to lose is saddest." And the USA Today, New York Post and Houston Chronicle boards also weighed in against the President's decision. Politico

Samuelson: President Obama’s Rejection Of The Keystone Project “Is An Act Of National Insanity.” President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is an act of national insanity. It isn't often that a president makes a decision that has no redeeming virtues and -- beyond the symbolism -- won't even advance the goals of the groups that demanded it. All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his re-election that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances. All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his re-election that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances. … Now consider how Obama's decision hurts the United States. For starters, it insults and antagonizes a strong ally; getting future Canadian cooperation on other issues will be harder. Next, it threatens a large source of relatively secure oil that, combined with new discoveries in the United States, could reduce (though not eliminate) our dependence on insecure foreign oil. Finally, Obama's decision forgos all the project's jobs. There's some dispute over the magnitude. Project sponsor TransCanada claims 20,000, split between construction (13,000) and manufacturing (7,000) of everything from pumps to control equipment … Keystone XL is precisely the sort of infrastructure project that Obama claims to favor. The Omaha World-Herald

No Matter What He Claims, President Obama’s Decision On Keystone Highlights That Jobs Creation Isn’t The President’s Top Priority. For three years, the Obama administration and its cheerleaders have tried to claim that they stand for the same can-do spirit. Administration officials have a rare form of Keynesian Tourette’s syndrome whereby they blurt out phrases like “Infrastructure!” . . . “Spending multiplier!” . . . “Shovel ready!” . . . “Nation-building at home!” . . . “Investment!” almost as often as they draw breath. Just last week, Obama’s own hand-picked jobs council — perhaps looking at the fully employed and booming oil state of North Dakota — advised that the U.S. must embrace an “all-in approach” to the energy sector, including the pursuit of “policies that facilitate the safe, thoughtful and timely development of pipeline, transmission and distribution projects.” Obama himself has insisted time and again he cares only about “what works” and not about ideological or partisan point scoring. Nary an utterance from the president doesn’t include some claim that his “top,” “chief,” “first,” and “number one” priority is to create jobs and get America working again. … Obama’s decision to block the building of the Keystone pipeline on the grounds that the Congress — in a bipartisan vote — didn’t give the bureaucrats enough time to study the issue is akin to Leslie Groves accepting that he couldn’t have his silver because he failed to ask for it in troy ounces. … It doesn’t help Obama’s case that his excuse is a sham. The Keystone pipeline had already been essentially cleared by environmental bureaucrats. Adding the pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf wouldn’t scar some pristine wilderness; it would be more like adding just one more string to a spider web, given how many pipelines already crisscross the region. … Theories abound as to what’s going through Obama’s mind. … And all of them highlight that his top, chief, first, and number one priorities aren’t what he says they are. National Review

State Of Play (2): President Obama’s Rejection Of The Keystone Project Is Already Having A Negative Impact On Jobs and Small Businesses

Fallout: Small Businesses Feel The Loss Of Keystone Pipeline Project. Dale Mykyte, the CEO of Pe Ben USA, a pipeline building company in Houston, says the project will hit his company hard. "We are talking in excess of $30 million in revenue," he says. "We had anticipated putting approximately 150 to 200 people to work on this project who will now not be required," Mykyte says. He added that Pe Ben USA also plans curtail purchases and sell off surplus equipment that would have been used for the project. Mykyte isn't the only small-business owner anticipating a blow. "The pipeline was supported by small business because it would have provided additional energy supplies and helped to create needed jobs in the area where the pipeline was to be constructed," Susan Eckerly, the National Federation of Independent Business's senior vice president of public policy, said in a statement. Entrepreneur’s The Daily Dose

Small Business Owner: President Obama’s Keystone Decision Is Political and “We Are Paying The Price.” In 2010, when the first line was built, waves of engineers and construction crews shopped at stores, ate at restaurants and stayed at hotels. Julie Katz, owner of the Fairbury Executive Suites, saw her rooms fill up. And she was hoping the extension would help her establishment once again during the slow winter season. "It's crippling," she said. "This is politics, and we are paying the price. There are some mom-and-pop stores in these small towns that will not survive through this political season, because they have built a lot of their hopes on an economic boom coming through this area again." … But throwing cold water on the pipeline's extension, as well as the construction of a pipeline pump station just east of Steele City, has killed Margo D'Angelo's expectation to fill her 60-person capacity restaurant the way she did in 2010. Back then, five dozen construction workers would file into the one-story Salty Dog Saloon for lunch every day, all wearing bright green vests and brown overalls as they bit into half-pound pork burgers. "It's better income all around, not only for me but hotels, car dealerships and repair shops," she said. "If other people are doing well, then I do well." CNN

State Of Play (3): House Republicans Rally In Baltimore

Leader Cantor To House Republicans: We Are The Party Of Small Business. He [Majority Leader Cantor] said House Republicans need to brand themselves as “the party of small business,” saying the party needs to “lay out our vision in a way that people understand.” “If you say it once an hour, it’s not enough,” Cantor said in his opening remarks, urging his party to view everything through the prism of small business. “If you say it every 15 minutes, it’s still not enough.” Politico

Leader Cantor: Republicans Agree That The Policies Put Forward By The Obama Administration Have Not Worked. "Our members are united around a realization that the polices that have been promoted by (the Obama) administration have not worked," Cantor said. … the GOP is looking toward this fall's election as the best opportunity to fundamentally change Washington. Eric Cantor highlighted that idea in his opening remarks in Baltimore. "We learned this year that progress must be more incremental than some of us would have liked," Cantor said. "To implement our policies, we have a lot of work to do. To win this election, to implement our agenda, we've got to lay out our vision in a way that people understand." Fox News

Committee Check

From Ways and Means: Another ObamaCare Sweetheart Deal

The “Bay State Boondoggle.” On Wednesday, 19 state hospital associations voiced their opposition to a hidden provision in ObamaCare: a sweetheart deal that benefits only hospitals in Massachusetts at the expense of hospitals in the 49 other states. The "Bay State Boondoggle" joins the list of infamous ObamaCare special deals that were used to "persuade" Democrat Members into voting for the massive health care overhaul. According to the hospital associations' letter, hospitals in 49 states will see their Medicare rates slashed by $3.5 billion over the next 10 years to pay for the "Bay State Boondoggle," a provision that overrode Medicare's rules regarding its hospital wage index system, providing a financial windfall for Massachusetts hospitals. Yet another example of what happens when you "pass the bill to find out what is in it." The Prescription Pad

GOP Health Care Reforms