WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today appeared on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace to discuss the upcoming Senate vote on Keystone, the president’s one-sided emissions deal with China, and the president’s potential executive action on immigration.Click here to watch Thune's full interview.
On the upcoming Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline:
“If the Democrats were serious about this, we would have voted on this years ago. This thing has been hanging around now for six years. There’s been five environmental impact reviews of the Keystone pipeline, all of which have come back and said it would have minimal impact on the environment. The president’s own State Department says it would support over 40,000 jobs. In my state of South Dakota, three to four thousand jobs, $100 million in earnings, $20 million in property tax revenue. This is an issue – a no-brainer in the eyes of the American public, which finally, finally is coming to the floor of the United States Senate, not because they’re worried about American jobs, but because they're worried about the job of a senator from Louisiana.”
“The Canadians are going to produce the oil. The only question is whether or not America’s going to benefit from it and we’re going to get the jobs that come with it and whether we’re going to replace the oil, the same type of oil that’s coming in from Venezuela, which is what the State Department said this project would do.”
On the president’s one-sided emissions deal with China:
“What the president agreed to was a bad deal. It’s all pain and no gain for the American people. It’s one-sided, it’s non-binding. There’s a hope that someday down the road, the Chinese might, might actually reduce, at the same time the United States makes reductions twice at what we’re planning right now. And what that means is, a 90 percent increase in utility rates for people, low-income people in places like South Dakota.
“And I guess what I would say to that is, if you trust the Chinese on something like this, I’ve got some oceanfront property here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for you, because this is a one-sided – and it is a non-binding deal that we have agreed to, and I don’t expect that we’re ever going to see China agree to it in the end.”
On the president’s potential executive action on immigration:
“I think Republicans, Chris, are looking at different options about how best to respond to the president’s unilateral action, which many people believe is unconstitutional, unlawful action on this particular issue. But my concern is – shutting the government down doesn’t solve the problem. My concern is what happens if we end up shutting down what could be a record of legislative accomplishment that’s there for the taking if the president would choose cooperation instead of conflict. This president right now is choosing friction, partisanship instead of cooperation. There’s an opportunity for us to get some things done here, and instead the president is going down this unilateral path, and it’s going to make it very hard for us to get anything done on immigration or any other issue, for that matter.”