Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
Keystone XL Pipeline
WASHINGTON - The US House of Representatives by a 234-193 vote on Tuesday passed legislation to extend the payroll tax cut for one year with a provision that will force a decision by President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
The 1,700 mile-long Canada to Texas pipeline is opposed by American Indians and environmental groups. Perhaps at most danger to American Indian tribal lands is in South Dakota between the proposed pipeline route that will go through the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. It will cross the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in two places.
The controversial bill now goes to the Senate where it may face an uphill battle.
"Now is not the time to be debating unrelated measures like an oil pipeline," commented Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, on Friday. "If the House sends us their bill with Keystone in it, they are just wasting valuable time because it will not pass the Senate."
Last month, President Obama announced he would delay a final decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 presidential election. This move angered Republicans in Congress who decided to bring the Keystone into the debate over the payroll tax cut extension being pushed by the Obama administration.
Even though President Obama is in support of the payroll tax cut measure that will provide an average of $1,000 to each American family, he threatened to veto the legislation if it hits the Oval Office with the Keystone XL pipeline provision in it.
posted December 14, 2011 6:10 am est
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