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.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."