A House Republican at the forefront of the Keystone XL pipeline battle doubts the GOP will try to tether a debt-ceiling increase to White House approval of the project.
“I just don’t see it being connected right now,” Rep. Lee Terry, an outspoken pipeline advocate from Nebraska, told National Journal on Tuesday.
House GOP leadership hasn’t ruled out trying to link the proposed oil sands pipeline, which remains under administration review, with the bill to prevent default.
Republicans are still weighing various policy goals they want tethered to the debt limit.
House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday renewed calls for President Obama to approve Keystone, calling it a way to boost jobs and energy security, but he didn’t directly address a question about using the debt bill as leverage.
But Terry said the decisive phase of the State Department’s pipeline review that’s now beginning makes a debt maneuver very tough.
State’s final environmental analysis of Keystone released Friday, which buoyed pipeline supporters, launches new public comment and a 90-day period of input from other federal agencies.
“The reality is, they have a 90-day reprieve because of the comment period where it is hard to advocate interfering with that or doing something to during that 90-day period; and the debt limit comes up within that period, so the timing of when they started that 90-day clock kind of … interferes with our ability to use the debt ceiling,” Terry said at the Capitol.
Several Republicans who attended this morning’s GOP Conference meeting said lawmakers did not talk about specific debt-ceiling options during the session.
“There were no specifics that were discussed, but we will do that during the course of the week,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican.
The current debt-limit suspension ends Feb. 7, but Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said he can use extraordinary measure to avoid default until late February.
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton's transition team has in place strict rules to limit the influence that lobbyists could have "in crafting the nominee’s policy agenda." The move makes it unlikely, at least for now, that Clinton would overturn Obama's executive order limiting the role that lobbyists play in government
Federal employees from 14 agencies have given nearly $2 million in campaign donations in the presidential race thus far, and 95 percent of the donations, totaling $1.9 million, have been to the Clinton campaign. Employees at the State Department, which Clinton lead for four years, has given 99 percent of its donations to the Democratic nominee.
Trying to save control of the Senate, the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is spending $25 million on six races over the last two weeks of the race. Republicans have been consistently outspent in a majority of the Senate races this cycle. Aside from spending in Nevada, all the spending will come in defense of Republican-held seats.
In an NBC News interview, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the campaign against ISIS will expand to its headquarters in Raqqa in the "next few weeks." He also reiterated that U.S. forces will not be part of any occupation of territory should it be retaken from ISIS.
Priorities USA, the super PAC aligned with the Clinton campaign, which has already gotten involved in two Senate races, is now expanding into House races. The group released a 30 second spot which serves to hit Donald Trump and Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, who is in a tough race to win re-election in Iowa's first congressional district. The super PAC's expansion into House and Senate races shows a high level of confidence in Clinton's standing against Trump.