Apr 19, 2012 2:36 PM GMT
Obama finally makes good on a promise to foster a spirit of co-operation and bipartisanship.
Defying a White House veto threat, the House on Wednesday passed legislation that extends transportation program funding through September and mandates construction of a controversial oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
All but 14 Republicans, with support from 69 Democrats, voted 293-127 for legislation that falls far short of Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) earlier plan to move a sweeping five-year, $260 billion package.
But Boehner’s retreat serves two crucial tactical and political purposes for the Speaker. It sets up talks with the Senate on the highway bill and keeps the Keystone pipeline — a centerpiece of GOP attacks on White House energy policy — front and center ahead of the November election.
Republican leaders hailed the bipartisan vote as a rebuke of President Obama. Two senior Democrat leaders, Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.) and John Larson (Conn.), approved the measure.
“The House is on record again in support of the Keystone XL energy pipeline — a project President Obama blocked, personally lobbied against, then tried to take credit for, and now says he’ll veto,” Boehner said in a statement. “There’s no telling where the president stands from one day to the next on Keystone, but he knows the pipeline has broad and bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.”