Sen. Mike Johanns says President Obama has further strained his relationship with Congress by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
Johanns, a Republican, points out that the 60-day deadline to decide Keystone grew out of negotiations with the Obama Administration to extend the payroll tax cut.
“I’ve worked now with a number of presidents as the governor and as a mayor, in the cabinet and now as a senator and I’ve never seen a group that is so very political. Everything is calculated. It is really Chicago-style politics,” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It was a very strained relationship to start out with and it hasn’t improved any with this decision.”
Johanns had opposed extending the Social Security payroll tax cut. The legislation won his vote when the Keystone XL oil pipeline was added to it. The Keystone portion required the president to make a decision on TransCanada’s application for the 1,700 mile pipeline within 60 days, a deadline of February 21st. Johanns says he thought the compromise was fair and was confident the president would grant the permit.
Johanns says the outcome only emphasizes that it’s difficult to work with the Democrats in the White House.
“You can never rely on what the possible end result might be, because it takes the political calculation that now is being made out of Chicago. These things just don’t make any sense,” according to Johanns.