The Washington Times - January 24, 2012, 04:27PM

Countering President Obama’s decision to host Warren Buffet’s secretary for the State of the Union, House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday he will host a handful of people who would have benefited if Mr. Obama had approved the Keystone XL pipeline.

Mr. Boehner announced his guests as Ray Brooks, a manager at Marathon Petroleum Company; Jay Churchill, a manager at Conoco Phillips; Dale Delle, president of a pipe production company; and Nebraska state Sen. Chris Langemeier, a supporter of the pipeline.


Mr. Obama earlier this month said he would not permit the pipeline that would have carried crude oil from Canada to Texas for refining. The decision won praise from environmentalists but was blasted by labor unions, Republicans and even many Democrats who said it put politics ahead of job-creation.

The first lady’s box is to the president’s left, while the speaker’s box is directly across the chamber to the president’s right.

Just as the first lady’s box has become political, so has the speaker’s box.

Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited the president of the AFL-CIO to sit in her box for the 2007 State of the Union speech, then-President George W. Bush’s first one to a fully Democratic Congress.

Last year Mr. Boehner hosted students who attended Catholic schools in Washington thanks to a scholarship program Congress had passed but that Mr. Obama was trying to phase out. He also hosted Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of the Diocese of Washington.