Our friend Peter Schweizer coined the term “milker bill”. (We believe.)
Basically a milker bill is one which floats around Congress which may or may not see the light of day, but does potentially impact a company, industry, or other special interest. So long as the bill is out there interests seek to buy “insurance” by supporting the members of Congress on their side. The longer the bill is bumping around the more money Congress can extract.
(From The R Street Institute)
Despite broad popular support, the Obama administration never seemed able to even make up its own mind about the project, and was dead set against the issue being resolved in Congress. I posited that Keystone was a prime example of what author Peter Schweizer calls a “milker bill,” a regulation or law that is designed neither to pass nor to fail, but to be left perpetually hanging, so as to drum up political donations and support.
For Democrats, Keystone represents what Schweizer calls a “double milker.” Key Democratic constituencies are opposed to Keystone (e.g. the environmental movement) while others favor it (e.g. organized labor). Making a definitive decision either way would risk alienating one of them. It’s far better to just put off a decision for as long as possible and let both sides do their best to win you over. All this can make for good political theater. In policy terms, it is becoming a serious problem.