In the Weekly Republican Address, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven discusses the Keystone XL pipeline and why it's "in the national interest and the interest of the American people."

Sen. Hoeven says, "This new $7 billion, 1,700-mile, high-tech transcontinental pipeline, the largest shovel-ready project in the country, would reduce our dependence on Middle East oil, help keep down the cost of energy for American consumers and businesses, and create thousands of jobs for American workers at a time when our nation so greatly needs them."

He points out, "A week ago, newspapers across the country ran a story warning consumers that gasoline could rise to more than $4.00 a gallon this year. In the same week, we saw world markets react nervously to the standoff between the U.S. and Iran in the Strait of Hormuz—through which one-third of the world's seaborne oil is now shipped. Combine all of this with growing global demand for oil, especially in China, and we have a recipe for dramatically higher energy prices and more personal hardship for working Americans. . . . Yet the President is saying 'no' to the Keystone XL pipeline, he's saying 'no' to a project that will bring more than 700,000 barrels of oil a day from our friend and ally, Canada, and he's virtually assuring continued reliance on the Middle East. That makes no sense, and it's a matter of great concern for our national security, particularly with what's going on in Iran."

Sen. Hoeven continues, "Last month the U.S. Senate passed a payroll tax cut measure that includes an important provision that I, along with Senator Richard Lugar, introduced to clear the way for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

"This pipeline will carry oil not only from Alberta, Canada, but also 100,000 barrels a day from the U.S. Bakken region in Montana and my home state of North Dakota. Our legislation accomplishes three crucial things. First, it makes sure the decision to permit the project can be reached within 60 days, it addresses routing concerns by the state of Nebraska, and then it ensures that the pipeline permit includes strong and specific environmental protections. It's hard to imagine a project that is more in the national interest and the interest of the American people."

Concluding, Sen. Hoeven says, "The point is this: If the Keystone XL pipeline isn't built, Canadian oil will still be produced and transported—700,000 barrels a day of it—but instead of coming to our refineries in the United States, instead of creating jobs for our people, instead of reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and keeping down the cost of fuel for American consumers—that oil will be sent to China. A number of year-end stories recently made much of the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline project isn't on the President's agenda before next year's election, which is unfortunate, because it is private-sector projects like Keystone XL—and the hundreds of others cited by the U.S. Chamber study—that will get our nation working again.

"I have worked towards approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, first as governor of North Dakota, and now with my colleagues as a U.S. Senator, because it is just the kind of project that will grow our economy and create more jobs. And that's the larger point here. We must empower private investment and create sustainable jobs through private enterprise to lift up our country. The President and his Administration need to join us in creating the kind of legal, tax, and regulatory environment that empowers private investment. That's the approach that will grow our economy and get people back to work. That's the approach that will reduce our deficit and debt, and strengthen our nation."

January 5, 2012 - Thursday on Fox News, Senator Corker called the Obama administration's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau "abusive" and warned about the consequences for the unfettered power of the consumer bureau without putting in place appropriate checks and balances on its authority.

In the Weekly Republican Address, Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson lays out the commitments Republicans have for the American people for the new year.

Sen. Isakson says, "It's no secret that the number one issue facing our country is jobs. So the number one goal of the Republicans for 2012 is to continue to make it easier for American small businesses to create jobs. We'll accomplish this by focusing on three things: fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security."

Concerning tax reform, Sen. Isakson says, "We should lower tax rates, do away with certain specialized and targeted tax deductions, broaden the tax base and close loopholes. Many of these suggestions were included in President Obama's own deficit commission's proposal, the Simpson-Bowles plan. Unfortunately, the President chose to ignore that plan. Congress cannot wait any longer to get our nation's fiscal house in order. This means tackling the nearly $4.5 trillion in additional debt that the Obama Administration has racked up in just the past three years. Democrats have pushed over and over again to raise taxes on the American families and small businesses to pay for their unsustainable spending habits. This is absolutely the wrong solution, especially in a time of a recession. Instead, we must dig our way out of this debt by reforming our tax system, cutting spending and extending opportunity for businesses to grow."

On regulations, Sen. Isakson says, "In 2012, Republicans will continue to fight to remove the shackles of onerous federal regulations on American small businesses. This is one of the fastest ways we can empower small businesses to begin hiring again. It's one of the keys to bringing our country out of this recession. The burdensome overregulation by President Obama's federal agencies has resulted in small businesses holding capital on the sidelines and freezing plans to hire new workers. American business cannot plan ahead because they fear the next expensive regulation might be coming from the federal government. It is uncertainty that must end. The federal government cannot regulate our country into prosperity. Our job as legislators is to see to it that there is a level playing field for businesses, entrepreneurs and workers."

"The third way that Republicans will make it easier to create jobs in the New Year," he continues, "is by continuing to push for energy solutions that create jobs, lower energy costs and remove our dependence on foreign oil. We can accomplish these goals by tapping into our domestic resources in an environmentally responsible way; such as through offshore drilling and shale extraction. We must develop all forms of energy—wind, solar, nuclear and others—if we're ever going to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. This past year, Republicans pushed for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the United States. This project would give America a reliable source of oil from our largest trading partner, and it would create tens of thousands of jobs for the American people. The Keystone pipeline is exactly the type of energy project this country needs."

Sen. Isakson concludes, "As we enter into this New Year, many have predicted that Congress will be too consumed with the Fall elections to accomplish anything significant. Americans cannot wait until after the November election. They need us to do our job and do it right now to create an economic climate that makes it easier to put people back to work. Republicans stand ready to do that. We're ready to go to work in 2012 to get the American people back to work.

"God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America in this New Year."
In the Weekly Republican Address, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, recently elected to be Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman discusses the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline and urges President Obama to stop stalling on the project.

Sen. Barrasso explains, "Republicans are working on legislation that will make it easier and cheaper for the private sector to create jobs for all Americans. For example, the creation of the Keystone Pipeline—a shovel ready American energy project. It will create as many as 20,000 construction jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs and it will strengthen our nation's energy security. Keystone would allow us to transport 700,000 barrels of oil a day from our northern neighbor Canada to refineries in the United States. Having a steady source of energy from our friend and ally here would make us less dependent on energy from the volatile Middle East—and that is good for America. Everyone from members of the United States Chamber of Commerce to members of Labor Unions support this project."

Unfortunately, Sen. Barrasso notes, "[T]he President has threatened to veto this bill because the pipeline is opposed by a number of extreme environmental groups. These are the same groups who in the past have supported the President and he needs their support for his reelection. It appears that President Obama is opposing these new American jobs in order to try to save his own job. It's time for the President to stop playing politics. After repeatedly saying, 'We Can't Wait' for American job creation, the President now wants Americans to wait on the jobs from the pipeline until after next year's election."

He adds, "If the President successfully blocks these new jobs, it will only add to his long list of bad economic decisions for our country. While the President may have inherited a bad economy, he has made it worse. Earlier this week, in a '60 Minutes' interview, the President said that he has not overpromised. His record shows otherwise."

Sen. Barrasso concludes, "The Keystone pipeline is a real solution that President Obama should embrace immediately to create new jobs across America. The House of Representatives has now passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation bill. This bill gives the President everything he has claimed to be for. It extends payroll tax relief for hard working Americans. It helps those who are still looking for work. And it is paid for by actually cutting government spending. . . . To get Americans back to work, small business owners need a level of predictability that they just don't have with this President and this Administration. We need more from the White House than threats to veto a bill that would create 20,000 jobs for Americans."