GOP gives up on Keystone XL pipeline for … bike trails

Today, Republican members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee stood as firmly as wet noodles.

Republicans, you always find new ways to disappoint me. This is an epic #FAIL:

— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) June 27, 2012

Apparently this is what passes for compromise these days:

Congressional negotiators are on the brink of a deal to extend federal highway funding for two years, ending a four-month push by both chambers and likely wrapping up major legislative business before the July Fourth recess.

The agreement will extend highway spending authority and the gas tax for roughly two years, sources said. But it comes at a price: Republicans had to drop their insistence that President Barack Obama approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and Democrats had to settle for allowing states to opt out of spending some funds on nonroad projects like bike and pedestrian paths. The GOP also rolled back its insistence on curtailing the EPA’s ability to regulate coal ash.

Naturally, the deal gives Sen. Barbara Boxer the warm fuzzies.

Boxer, in her own predictive statement Wednesday, cited faster project delivery without violating environmental laws and increased biking and pedestrian funding flexibility as victories and said the legislation will preserve or create up to 3 million jobs, a “critical focus of Democrats.”

Really, Ma’am? Jobs are a “critical focus” for you? Is that why the Democrats have pushed back so hard against the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create real jobs?

This is all just peachy. And while Babs is out there touting the wonders “increased biking” would do for the economy, what have the Republicans done? True, the Democrats may not be able to get all the bike trails their hearts desire at the moment, but they still have bragging rights, because they suckered the Republicans into giving up a lot more. Not only has the GOP agreed to lay off pushing the pipeline for now, but they’re also leaving the EPA to its own devices. Way to fight the good fight, guys. We don’t really need those jobs anyway.

Republicans dropped Keystone from highway bill. Kind of a big concession, no?

— Marty Kady (@mkady) June 27, 2012

Uh, kind of, yeah.

The Republicans’ wimp-out-age has left a bad taste in Twitterers mouths:

The Republicans gave up Keystone and the regs to kill coal. They should made more noise about it rather than look so timid. Disappointing.

— George Rudolph (@thenewnarrative) June 27, 2012

@BenHowe yeah, let's trade Keystone for bike paths. Killer deal .

— Gary Eaton (@garysteveneaton) June 27, 2012

@EWErickson This is simply outrageous. Keystone for a fucking bike path. Unfucking believable. #OUTRAGE Who's running this Party? gawd!

— TMC (@130barkley) June 27, 2012


— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) June 27, 2012

GOP dropped the Keystone pipeline demands in exchange for the Dems dropping demands for bike paths. #StupidParty

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 27, 2012

I guess they don't want jobs for our country or energy independence. RT @HuffPostGreen: Keystone XL pipeline out of U.S. transportation bill

— UberZuper (@UberZuper) June 27, 2012

RE: Bike paths and Keystone. I have to admit, it's hard for me to get angry because I have such low expectations for the GOP anyway.

— Slublog (@Slublog) June 27, 2012

So the House GOP caved on Keystone XL. Wunderbar. #withfriendslikethese

— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) June 27, 2012

@brodigan @LachlanMarkay I noticed they announced Keystone today. Assuming they think we'll forget it by Friday. They're wrong. @GOPLeader

— Liberty Czarina (@LibertyCzarina) June 27, 2012

To quote John Boehner, who actually seemed to have a pair during the health care debate, “HELL NO!” We won’t forget.

Missing: Republicans’ spines. If found, please let us know.

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