Energy and Commerce Members Urge President to Say Yes to Jobs

December 8, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to President Obama today urging him to reconsider his threat to reject House legislation offering relief to out-of-work Americans.

The president yesterday declared that he would reject the House payroll tax extension package based on the inclusion of a provision to speed up construction of Keystone XL pipeline. If constructed, the pipeline would immediately put tens of thousands of Americans back to work and support over 100,000 jobs. Members are asking the president to put politics aside for the sake of jobs. 

The members wrote, "Middle class families are now on notice that you plan to reject a payroll tax extension if it is linked to a job-creating private-sector construction project, the Keystone XL pipeline. Labor unions that have signed on to build and support this thoroughly studied and environmentally sound pipeline are now on notice that you plan to say no to their jobs. And out-of-work Americans are now also on notice that you plan to deny an extension of unemployment benefits because they may be linked to this same proposal to address America's energy needs and create new jobs, which would possibly give them an opportunity to re-enter the workforce.

"We respectfully request you reconsider your plans to deny working Americans protection from a large payroll tax increase and deny millions of jobless Americans further unemployment benefits in order to prevent tens of thousands of Americans from securing good-paying union jobs building a pipeline that will improve our energy security at no cost to the government."

View the full text of the letter to President Obama here.