Area Senators React to Passage of Tax Cut Extension
The U.S. Senate has passed a 60-day extension of Social Security payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance. Louisiana's senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Mary Landrieu, applauds passage of the bill and says, "When we return next month, Congress must work together toward a full-year extension of this cut. And we should pay for it by asking those who enjoy incomes of more than $1 million a year to contribute a bit more in taxes." That's something that Republicans in Congress have said repeatedly that they're not willing to do.
A key provision of the extension is a provision that requires the President to make a decision in 60 days about the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to Texas. If the President doesn't make a decision within those 60 days, the permit for the pipeline would be automatically issued. That provision draws praise from Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter and Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn. Said Vitter, "We've been fighting to keep the Keystone XL Pipeline project moving forward, particularly because it will create approximately 20,000 new jobs, $7 billion in new investment, and provide 700,000 new barrels of oil a day -- oil we wouldn't need from the Middle East." Cornyn said, "The Senate took action where the President has punted. The Keystone XL Pipeline will bring thousands of long-term jobs and energy security to the United States. All that stands between this bill and those jobs is President Obama."