The Senate has passed by a vote of 89-10 year-end legislation that includes Sen. Dick Lugar's bill that forces President Obama to make a decision on construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The only legitimate way the President can avoid permitting pipeline construction within 60 days is to determine that oil trade with Canada is not in the national interest of the United States.
The bill is part of an end-of-year legislative package that will also include an extension of the reduction in payroll taxes for two months.
"This bill will stop President Obama's delaying tactics. This is a tremendous victory for our security and for creating jobs. It is absolutely incredible that President Obama wants to delay a decision until after the 2012 elections apparently in fear of offending a part of his political base and even risking the ire of construction unions who strongly support the project. It is the largest shovel-ready infrastructure project in the United States," Lugar said.
"The President will no longer be able to duck his responsibility to American Workers. He must now make a decision."
Lugar introduced his bill on November 30. Led by Lugar, a bipartisan group of 41 Senators have cosponsored the Lugar-Hoeven-Vitter legislation that would compel the Obama Administration to act on a construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in 60 days.
The House of Representatives included the Lugar language in the payroll tax reduction bill that passed the House of Representatives on December 13 by a vote of 234-193.
More information may be found at: http://lugar.senate.gov/energy/pipeline/index.cfm.