Three weeks into their historic House majority and after taking control of the Senate for the first time in eight years, Republicans find themselves in a meltdown over rape and charges that they quashed debate on a Keystone pipeline bill so their presidential hopefuls could make pitches to the billionaire Koch brothers in Palm Springs.
The two debates were supposed to be easy lifts on popular GOP issues. Instead, the dueling imbroglios showcased a backlash by more moderate Republicans and Tea Party conservatives and the appearance — fueled by Democrats — of a connection between the GOP’s pro-fossil fuel agenda and industry campaign contributions.
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said the amendment process will help pass the Keystone bill by allowing senators to have their say. “Keystone is not just about one pipeline,” O’Connell said. “It’s about an energy argument that the Republicans want to have with the Democrats.”