A House committee held what was perhaps one of its more explosive hearings Wednesday on a bill that would give a federal commission the power to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Democrats, led by Congressman Henry Waxman, call the bill a Republican earmark and thus asked that the Koch brothers be subpoenaed to testify on their alleged investment in the project. Republican Committee chairman Ed Whitefield was having none of it, however, and cut Waxman off at the knees.
“We’re not going to be subpoenaing the Koch brothers,” he blasted. “The Koch brothers have nothing to do with this project.”
“Point of order!” Waxman bellowed. “You cut me out in the middle of a sentence!”
“Your time was up, Mr. Waxman!” Whitfield retorted. “We are going to recess this hearing for ten minutes and then we’re going to come back.”
“Are you calling the Koch brothers during the recess?” Waxman quipped.
Whitefield quickly fired back, “If you want to talk about that, let’s talk about the millions of dollars that the Obama administration gave companies like Solyndra and people like George Kaiser and other campaign bundlers…would you like us to subpoena them too?”
“Why are you interrupting members and then you take unlimited time for yourself?” Waxman asked.
“I’m the chairman! And I’m telling you right now we’re going to recess for ten minutes!” Whitfield stated, before storming out.
Speculations over why the president has delayed the decision on this project abound. Some suggest Obama he has done so to keep from angering his political base and environmentalists who oppose the pipeline. If approved, the bill would essentially bypass Obama’s decision.
Mediaite brings us the entire exchange via CSPAN:
Fox News provides background: