By Alicia M. Cohn - 12/31/11 11:00 AM EST
Republicans in Congress are making New Years Resolutions for 2012, or "commitments," according to Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) in Saturday's Republican weekly address.
The number one Republican New Years commitment for 2012 is "to continue to make it easier for American small businesses to create jobs," Isakson said, listing fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security as the three main tactics Republicans will emphasize in the new year.
He previewed an ongoing emphasis by the GOP on the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf coast. President Obama had delayed making a decision on the project until the end of 2012, but recent legislation forces him to make a decision on the pipeline project within 60 days.
Isakson called it "exactly the type of energy project this country needs."
Environmental groups say the measure forcing Obama to make a speedy decision on the pipeline have ensured the project’s demise.
Isakson also downplayed the influence that the November election would have over congressional business in 2012.
“As we enter into this New Year, many have predicted that Congress will be too consumed with the Fall elections to accomplish anything significant," he said. “Americans cannot wait until after the November election. They need us to do our job and do it right now to create an economic climate that makes it easier to put people back to work. Republicans stand ready to do that."
However, Isakson indicated the acrimony between Republicans and the White House, which has seemed to increase as election season draws nearer, isn't likely to die in the new year.
Urging lower taxes, closing loopholes, broadening the tax base and ending "certain specialized and targeted tax deductions," Isakson included a dig at Obama for not getting more done in 2011.
"Many of these suggestions were included in President Obama’s own deficit commission’s proposal, the Simpson-Bowles plan," he said. "Unfortunately, the president chose to ignore that plan."