Yet again, Obama caves. Per HuffPo:
WASHINGTON — At a press conference on Dec. 7, President Obama warned congressional Republicans not to attach a controversial crude oil pipeline from Canada through the U.S. to a bill extending a year-old break on people’s payroll tax.
“Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject,” the president said, standing next to his Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Ten days later, Republicans, with the help of sympathetic Democrats and lawmakers who just wanted to get a deal done, did just that. By a vote of 89 to 10, the Senate voted on Saturday morning to extend the payroll tax cut for two months. Included in the bill was language requiring the State Department to issue a permit within 60 days to proceed with the 1,700-mile oil pipeline.
The inclusion, on its surface, goes directly against the president’s veto threat. But the White House has no plans to torpedo the measure. At a briefing with reporters following a short statement by the president, senior administration officials made the case that their position on the pipeline had not been affected.
“It is absolutely not a blink,” said one official. “It does not make him do a single thing… All they did was shorten the review process. … They shortened the review process to 60 days; they are not making the president do anything.”
I don’t claim to know anything, but I smell a repeat of the Bush tax-cut deal of a year ago. I suspect that yet again he is going to cave and claim that those Republican devils made him do it.