Citing Strong Bipartisan Support for Keystone, McConnell Urges President to Reconsider Veto Threat
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement regarding construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, a bipartisan, job creating infrastructure project:
“The new Republican majority has pledged to run the Senate differently and stop protecting the president from good ideas.
“That’s why we look forward to the Senate beginning consideration of a bipartisan, job-creating infrastructure project: the Keystone Pipeline.
“Right now, the Keystone jobs bill is being considered by committee.
“The Keystone jobs bill will then be subject to real debate and amendment on the floor of the Senate.
“And then, we plan to send the Keystone jobs bill to the president’s desk with bipartisan support.
“That may be a departure from what Senators have become used to. But for members on both sides, I think the change is welcome.
“I think Senators in both parties are ready to have their voices — and the voices of their constituents — heard.
“Senators understand that Keystone presents a real opportunity for Washington to finally prove to Americans that it can prioritize jobs for them over the demands of powerful special-interests.
“That’s what the voters told us they wanted in November.
“And that’s just what Washington should aim for now by passing this bipartisan, job-creating infrastructure project.
“As we consider the Keystone jobs bill, let’s keep focused on the real issues at hand: things like jobs for the middle class and reliable energy costs for families. Let’s also acknowledge that this is not really a debate about the environment. President Obama’s own State Department has previously said that Keystone’s impact on the environment would basically be negligible.
“So let’s maintain our focus. Let’s keep the voters in mind who sent us here, and let’s remember what they told us in November.
“One of the things they told us is that they’d like to see more teamwork across the aisle.
“So for a president who has said he’d like to see more bipartisan cooperation, this is a perfect opportunity.
“A number of the many Democrat supporters of this bill have already written to the president urging him to ‘choose jobs, economic development and American energy security’ and approve this pipeline.
“We’re asking the president again today to do that by working with us to end the gridlock and get this job-creating infrastructure project moving.
“Keystone has been studied endlessly, from almost every possible angle, and the same basic conclusion seems to keep coming back: build it.
“Keystone’s construction could support thousands of jobs. It could invest billions in our economy.
“That’s why Democrats say ‘build it.’ Republicans say ‘build it.’ Prominent labor unions say ‘build it, ’and, most importantly, the American people say ‘build it.’
“The president has called for Congress to send him infrastructure projects to sign.
“Keystone is the largest shovel-ready infrastructure project in the country that makes sense. So we’re going to send it to him.
“We hope he’ll sign it.
“He may ultimately veto an infrastructure project that could increase workers’ wages by $2 billion — a project whose construction alone could, according to the president’s own State Department, support many thousands of jobs.
“He may. Or he may decide to try and make divided government work.
“Either way, this Congress is determined to do what we can to pass bipartisan jobs legislation. It’s what the American people asked us to do. And that’s just what we’re going to do.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Jobs, Keystone XL Pipeline, Economy, Middle Class, Energy