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 »
"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."
"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."
"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."