WASHINGTON DC - Just hours before a crucial vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline failed in the U.S. Senate, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka urged the new Republican-controlled Congress and the White House to get together and approve the long-delayed project.
"There are a number of economic issues and job issues that we want them to get done. That happens to be one of them. So the answer is 'yes.' We want to get every jobs issue that we can out and as many jobs created as we can to get the economy going," Trumka told reporters after the election.
Earlier in the year, the AFL-CIO issued a statement saying the Keystone XL project was more than a pipeline. "It's a lifeline," they said.
Despite the AFL-CIO and other unions urging to move forward, Illinois' U.S. Senator Dick Durbin voted to stop the program's progress. Durbin's vote irked Decatur union member Michael McBride, who wrote to the Herald-Review that Durbin's vote was a "slap in the face."
This is a slap in the face to all card-carrying members of trade unions around the nation. Unions such as the pipefitters, operating engineers, laborers, UAW, and many more, and labor in general.
Why? Simple, it is these hardworking men and women of these unions who would have benefited by the passage of this bill that would have created jobs for us, prevented layoffs and lowered our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
Radical environmentalists that say the pipeline would pollute America's Heartland won over job-seeking Illinoisans, McBride said:
Pipefitters to weld the pipe. Operating engineers to operate the pipe layers, wheeled tractor scrapers and other products made in Illinois by UAW brothers and sisters, some right here in Decatur. Laborers, well, you get my point.
These are the same men and women who just three weeks ago went into the voting booths and gave their “hero” another six years to pat us on the back with one hand but stab us in the back with the hand that pushed the "nay" button on Nov. 18.
Haven't we learned the old adage, "Fool me once, shame on you? Fool me twice, shame on me?"
Observers hope for another attempt after the Republican majority is sworn into the U.S. Senate in January, but President Obama threatens to veto the pipeline if it landed on his desk.