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Bobby R.
Democrat IL 1

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  • Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act

    by Representative Bobby L. Rush

    Posted on 2015-02-11

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    RUSH. Madam Speaker, this is deja vu all over again, as for the umpteenth time the majority party is trying to jam the Keystone XL pipeline through this Congress despite the fact that President Obama has made it pretty clear to all who will listen that this bill is headed to a veto if it ever reaches his desk.

    Madam Speaker, instead of going through regular order and the committee process and working on bipartisan legislation that would ultimately create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs, such as building up our infrastructure, fixing our roads and bridges, and modernizing our energy grid, instead of looking at the interests, the real interests of the American people, and working to provide the American people much-needed jobs, my friends on the other side of the aisle have repeatedly spent valuable time, time that this Congress will never, ever see again, trying to grant a regulatory earmark to the TransCanada Corporation by short-circuiting the normal permitting process and forcing President Obama's hand.

    This is not a jobs bill. Madam Speaker, we need a jobs bill. But where are the jobs in this bill? Every time we talk about jobs, every time jobs develop on the floor of this House, the Republicans all run to one place: that all we need is to build the Keystone XL pipeline and that will solve America's job problem. I beg to differ with my friends on the other side of the aisle.

    The State Department--our State Department--consulted with TransCanada and found out that the construction of this pipeline would directly result in about 4,000 jobs in the early stages just to build the pipeline. These jobs, Madam Speaker, will last no more than 12 months--365 days of work provided to the American people. What kind of jobs bill are we trying to perpetrate on the American people? In addition, Madam Speaker, by building the pipeline, 42,100 1-year jobs will be created indirectly across the United States.

    After the Keystone XL pipeline is completed, operation, where the permanent jobs are, the real operation where the lasting jobs are, the jobs that will provide a future for American families--college education, mortgages to pay for their home, put dinner on the table-- these jobs would only amount to about 35 permanent jobs in this Nation--35. A franchise burger joint on the corner will provide more permanent jobs than this whole Keystone XL pipeline is purported to do.

    Let's put these figures into perspective.

    In 2014, the U.S. economy created nearly 50,000 jobs per week--50,000 per week in 2014; 230,000 jobs per month. So even taking the most favorable estimates for all the indirect and direct jobs, the Keystone XL pipeline will produce fewer jobs than the economy is already creating on its own in just 7 days--in just one week.

    Taking the lowest estimate for the 35 permanent jobs again, the Keystone XL pipeline will produce even fewer jobs, in all of its massiveness, in all of the hyperbole that comes from the other side, than the economy is already creating in just 1 hour. In the next hour, Mr. Speaker, the American economy will produce more jobs than the entire Keystone XL pipeline in all of its duration--in just the next hour.

    This is not a jobs bill. Where are the priorities for the other side? Why are we wasting time on this? Let me remind my friends on the other side, in just 2 weeks--just 2 weeks--the Homeland Security Department will run out of money, putting all of the American people, our entire Nation, at risk, in just 2 weeks.

    Where are your priorities? Doesn't that make more sense than wasting our time on creating 35 jobs--35 permanent jobs? We are going to be out of this place at the end of the week. Where is the priority for American security? Where is the priority for us to spend our time? What are the priorities of the majority if we are going to waste our time? Here we go again, valuable time. Homeland Security running out of money, folks being laid off, our borders are being compromised, terrorists are going to have or could have a field day because we have not funded Homeland Security.

    {time} 1600 Yet we are here, wasting valuable time. Let's use this time to fund the Department of Homeland Security, and let's get off some of this nonsense that makes no sense at all.

    I cannot believe, Mr. Speaker, that the American people have sent us here to work on behalf of TransCanada and to ignore the Department of Homeland Security. I can't in my wildest imagination believe that they didn't even know, that they didn't even imagine, that they didn't even think that we are here with the Department of Homeland Security on one side and the Keystone XL on the other side. Go figure. Where are their priorities? Mr. Speaker, this bill is unnecessary. This bill will be vetoed by President Obama, and it will be sent back here DOA. We have far more important work that we should be doing on behalf of the American people.

    I urge all of my colleagues to turn down this unnecessary, ill-timed, ill-conceived notion that we should be spending our valuable time on the Keystone XL and ignoring the funding for the Department of Homeland Security.

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