Senate Republicans Block Amendment Requiring Steel for Keystone XL Pipeline to be Made in America

keystone-xl-steelAfter years of back and forth debate that only seem to be delaying the inevitable, Republicans finally have enough power in Congress to send a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline to the president’s desk. The Obama administration has said it will veto any such bill and Republicans don’t seem to have the necessary 67 votes in the Senate to override his veto; though the GOP has become infamous for wasting time and millions of taxpayer dollars “passing” (or trying to repeal) legislation when they know their efforts won’t end up being successful.


For a great example of this look no further than the 50+ votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act that Republicans in the House have held over the last several years. Time, resources and millions of dollars wasted on nonsense they knew had absolutely no chance at even getting beyond the Senate, let alone signed by the president.

Hell, they shut down the government when they knew they had no chance at accomplishing anything for which they claimed to be “fighting.”

So, at least or now, it appears this debate will continue on for the foreseeable future even with Obama’s veto threat looming. Though I’ve cautioned liberals who have stood adamantly opposed to this pipeline to prepare themselves for defeat eventually. This just strikes me as one of those projects that’s going to end up being built at some point. Personally, I think the pipeline is a “bargaining chip” President Obama is keeping in his back pocket to use at a later date.

Well, be that as it may, the debate in Congress rages on and Democrats attempted to add two amendments to the legislation that just seem like common sense no matter what party with which you align.

The first amendment that was defeated by Republicans was proposed by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and would have prohibited oil that was pumped through the pipeline from being exported and sold on the global market. Makes sense, right? After all, aren’t Republicans partially selling this to the American people as a “path to energy independence”? We can’t really call this a “boost to domestic oil reserves” if we’re allowing it to be pumped through our country and sold globally to the highest bidder.

As most of us already know, the GOP’s claim that this pipeline will help America become less dependent on foreign oil is complete nonsense. That’s just a talking point that they feed to conservatives who apparently have no idea how oil is bought and sold internationally.


Then the second amendment that was defeated by Republicans came from Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). It would have required that all of the steel used to construct the pipeline be American made. Haven’t Republicans been pushing this as a “job creator” (even though it’s not) since this whole debate started? So, when a Senator proposes an amendment stating that if we end up building this pipeline, the steel used for its construction must be “Made in America” – Republicans vote against that?

And while Republicans will most certainly try to spin the truth as to why they voted against these two amendments (though I’m almost certain you won’t hear anything about either on Fox News), the truth of the matter is big oil would not have liked either of them and we all know the GOP is nothing more than a shill for big oil companies.

This entire project has been an absolute joke from the very beginning. It’s not a job creator, nor is it a step toward energy independence; it’s just another pipeline big oil wants so they can make billions of dollars selling their oil to the highest bidder on the global market. This is just the GOP doing what they always do – putting big oil ahead of the American people.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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