WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana says construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline would create more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs, have a negligible impact on the environment and save lives because there would be fewer industrial accidents shipping oil by pipeline than by rail or truck. Yet President Obama and Washington Democrats remain opposed to the project, siding with their patrons on the Far Left over hard-working Americans who need and want these jobs. “They would rather your family struggle than offend their political base,” says Cassidy. “President Obama and his allies like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are more interested in rolling out the red tape than the red carpet for these jobs.” The Weekly Republican Address is available in both audio and video format and is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, June 28, 2014. The audio of the address is available here, the video will be available here and you may download the address here. A full transcript of the address follows:
“Hello, I'm Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana congressman and also a doctor. I’ve worked for 25 years caring for the uninsured, which I still do.
“Patients know that I am a congressman. Often, they would rather talk about problems in Washington than problems with their health. I have to say ‘timeout, let’s talk about you.’
“But they tell me that they are fed up with Washington. They want their government to work for them. They see partisan fights, their concerns lost, common sense solutions ignored. This while some cannot find jobs, have trouble paying bills, paying for gas, some losing their homes.
“I agree; we can do better.
“Being an American, though, is more than having enough to eat. The Declaration of Independence speaks of our right to pursue happiness – the ‘American dream’ for us, our children, our grandchildren.
“My dad’s an example. He never went to college. He worked hard selling insurance. My dad’s dream was for his children to have a better life. He would be so proud that his son is a congressman who happens to be running for the United States Senate. I wish my dad could see his dream fulfilled.
“You have dreams. Fulfilling dreams begins with opportunity. Republicans think that there can be greater opportunity.
“Working Americans have traditionally been employed in energy, manufacturing and construction. Energy begins it all.
“For example, the Haynesville Shale is a natural gas field in Louisiana. Gas production creates energy jobs, which in turn drives demand for manufacturing jobs – for example producing steel, steel used for things such as building pipelines.
“Because there’s so much natural gas and oil in North America, our energy costs less. And lower cost energy encourages manufacturers to build factories here, not in India or China. America’s natural resources create good paying energy, manufacturing and construction jobs for us.
“It doesn’t stop there.
“As a congressman, once I visited a technical college. A man in his fifties was enrolling in a commercial driver's license class. As a doctor, he appeared to have emphysema. He can drive a truck despite lung problems. With his commercial driver’s license, he can move to an energy-producing town, earn $50,000 a year before overtime, plus benefits.
“He had a choice – disability or start a new career. He had the opportunity to start a new career.
“You have your own dreams. There are common sense solutions to provide you opportunity. One is the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“The State Department says that building this pipeline creates 42,000 direct and indirect jobs, has a negligible impact upon the environment and saves lives as there are fewer accidents shipping oil by pipeline instead of rail or truck.
“Unfortunately, President Obama continues to oppose job-creating projects, such as Keystone.
“Sadly, Democrats in Washington stand with President Obama rather than standing with hardworking families in Louisiana and elsewhere. They would rather your family struggle than offend their political base.
“President Obama and his allies like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are more interested in rolling out the red tape than the red carpet for these jobs.
“Together, we must stop Harry Reid and the senators who support him from blocking the Keystone XL pipeline – blocking the jobs, the opportunity that it creates. It’s time to retire Harry Reid as the leader of the Senate.
“When I listen to you, you tell me that you are sick of partisan fights, you want your concerns addressed, you want common sense solutions. It is all our responsibility to make sure that this happens; to get Washington out of the way, so that you can provide for yourself and your family, so that you can pursue your American dream.
“Thank you. God Bless the United States and God Bless the Great State of Louisiana.”