It never ceases to amaze me what our elected officials choose to find important at any given moment. Right now, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)has decided to arm wrestle the president into an untenable position on the payroll tax cut Obama has been lobbying for.
The payroll tax cut would be a continuation of the decrease in Social Security taxes that those employed pay from the usual 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. The current tax cut is set to expire on December 31 unless a new measure is signed into law.
Members of the House have tied additional issues into the measure, seeking to force the president to sign the legislation that would also give the go-ahead for the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project. President Obama has wanted a different route created for the proposed pipeline, set to carry crude oil from Canada to the Mississippi gulf. The president's hesitance has to do with concerns of underground water being adversely affected by the current route. House Republicans are poo-pooing such concerns, saying it's time for the pipeline now.
Also added to the payroll tax cut measure by the House Republicans include removing EPA restrictions on emissions from boilers and small incinerators, a move the EPA reports will cause over 8,000 premature deaths each year.
Obama has promised to veto the payroll tax cut bill if the pipeline go-ahead is attached to the measure, causing Congress to work into its intended holiday recess.
It's my hope that the Senate will be the voice of reason in this issue; few believe that will happen. If it does not, I support the president if he carries through the veto he has promised.
What are your feelings on the issues? Do you support the Keystone XL pipeline project as it is? What about the payroll tax cut continuation? How about the politics of the whole she-bang?