Congressional Hispanic Conference Blasts Obama for Holding Jobs Hostage

Dec 8, 2011

Washington, Dec 8, 2011 -
December 8, 2011

Contact:  Valentina Weis (Canseco)
(202) 225-4511 or
Ruth Guerra (Diaz-Balart)
(202) 225-4211

Congressional Hispanic Conference Blasts Obama for Holding Jobs Hostage

Washington D.C. – Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-20) and Vice Chairman Francisco “Quico” Canseco (TX-23) released the following joint statement responding to remarks by President Obama where he indicated that he will reject any attempt to tie approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to a payroll tax cut extension.

“While millions of American are out of work, President Obama continues to play politics. Hispanics saw no change in November’s job report, yet President Obama continues to delay job creation by stalling the Keystone XL Pipeline. If we fail to act now, communist China won’t waste time and gain from this project. It is time for the President to lead and truly place ‘country before party’ as he so claims to do, the American people need and want to get back to work,” said Chairman Diaz-Balart.

Congressman Canseco stated, “it is truly unbelievable that President Obama has indicated he is willing to veto potential legislation that would ensure American families get to keep more of their hard-earned money by extending the payroll tax cut if the legislation will also give approval to the Keystone XL pipeline, an energy project that enjoys bipartisan support – including labor groups like the United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Laborers’ International Union of North America – and has the potential to create thousands of new jobs. In fact, the Director of the Construction Department in the Laborers’ International Union of North America recently said that, “This Project is Not Just a Pipeline; It Is In Fact, a Life-Line”

Hispanics are suffering from a staggering unemployment rate of 11.4%, which is higher than the already unacceptable national average that has been at or above 8% for 34 straight months. The President’s statement makes it clear that he is more worried about playing politics and appeasing radical environmental activists in advance of his re-election than allowing for the creation of much needed jobs and extending a tax cut that he says he strongly supports.

Hispanic families are hurting, how can President Obama refuse to lead on the issue of job creation? The President’s threat to veto the extension of the payroll tax cut based on the inclusion of the pipeline is irresponsible. This pipeline could create jobs for the thousands of Hispanics that are currently unemployed. Why is President Obama apparently willing to raise taxes on hard-working American families simply because a pipeline project that enjoys bipartisan support and could create thousands of jobs is included?”Congressman Canseco concluded.

Yesterday, while at an appearance with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Obama warned that, "any effort to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject. So everybody can be on notice."