Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonNew poll shows tight presidential race in Georgia Matt Lieberman faces calls to drop out of Georgia Senate race over 'racist and discriminatory' tropes in 2018 book Sabato's Crystal Ball shifts Iowa Senate race to 'toss-up,' Georgia toward GOP MORE (R-Ga.) said the country would suffer from “dumb disease,” if the Senate doesn’t approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“The Keystone XL pipeline just makes sense,” Isakson said on the Senate floor Tuesday.


Later Tuesday, the Senate will vote on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada through the United States to Gulf Coast refineries. Environmentalists oppose the project.

Isakson was playing off the economic theory called the Dutch disease, where countries rich with natural resources don’t invest the wealth to better their own people. Isakson said “dumb disease” would be the United States turning away access to a natural resource it doesn’t have enough of.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is leading the opposition to the bipartisan Keystone bill, said she fells differently.

“I think it’s funny. I’m not insulted,” Boxer said about being called dumb. “Dumb is in the eye of the beholder.”

Boxer said it was "dumb" to build a pipeline that would harm the environment, public health and the economy.