POLITICAL bickering heightened in the US last night, as President Barack Obama stoked a battle with Republicans by rejecting plans for a huge oil pipeline to Canada.
The decision over the pipeline – seen as a key battleground between Obama and opposition Republicans during the race for the White House this year – coincided with the House of Representatives knocking back a $1.2 trillion increase in the federal debt limit.
The snub by the Republican-controlled House is near-certain to be overturned by the Democrat-controlled Senate, while the President in any case holds a veto. The vote was seen as largely symbolic, as both sides gear up into election mode.
And Republicans will attack the President for his decision to block the 1,700-mile Keystone pipeline connecting Canada and Texas – a project they argue would create thousands of jobs.