John Hoeven’s Keystone Fail
Below is a press release I just received from Senator John Hoeven’s office about the passage of the Transportation Bill (highway bill). It details a press conference held by Hoeven and Rep. Rick Berg, and claims the bill is “full paid for” and “does not add to the deficit or debt.”
That claim is a bit hard to believe as the bill is “another two-year funding bill being paid for by 10 years of offsets,” according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Mar Scribner. The idea of paying for two years of spending with spending cuts spread out over 10 years isn’t “paying” for the bill. That’s budget trickery.
It’s worth noting that in the House, Rep. Rick Berg was not one of the 82 Republicans who voted for balancing the bill fiscally.
But beyond that, where is the Keystone pipeline issue? Back in May The Hill quoted Senator Hoeven as saying he was confident the highway bill would pass with a provision requiring the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by June 30th. “I think we will pass Keystone as part of the highway bill,” he said wile being described in the article as “a chief Senate proponent of Keystone.”
Yet, in the press release below, there’s not a single mention of the Keystone issue.
I posted previously about Republicans trading the Keystone issue off with Democrats for bike paths. I don’t know how Hoeven was involved in that compromise, but for someone who was one of the most outspoken members of the Senate on the Keystone issue, the silence from Hoeven now is deafening.
Not exactly a great development for someone being touted by some as a VP candidate.
I emailed Hoeven’s press people with a question on the absence of the Keystone issue from the bill but haven’t received anything back.