House Republican leaders have found an issue they can use to press their advantage over President Barack Obama: the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. They are giving it to the president but good over his delay on deciding whether to go forward with the project, The Hill
“Attacking Obama on the pipeline delay is definitely a good hit,” GOP strategist Tyler Harber told the news service. “This issue gives another example to Republicans that demonstrates that Obama hasn’t fully embraced policies that could grow jobs.”
The pipeline would carry Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, and its construction would create thousands of jobs, Republicans say. It would also help lessen U.S. reliance on Mideast oil.
The pipeline issue comes at a good time for the GOP as well, after the party took a bruising defeat last month on the extension of the payroll tax cut. “Waging war on the White House for the pipeline delay will successfully shift the public debate from the payroll tax cut extension to an issue that Republicans can use to make headway against Obama,” Harber told Politico.
Obama must make a decision on the pipeline by Feb. 21.
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