House approves Keystone XL pipeline, Senate up next

November 14, 2014

USA Today

Republicans in the U.S. House approved legislation, 252-161, for the ninth time to authorize construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline in a legislative push renewed by two lawmakers locked in a Louisiana Senate runoff next month.

"This will create other economic activity. This will ripple out through the economy," said GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, the sponsor of the House bill. Cassidy is favored to oust incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in a Dec. 6 runoff election necessary because neither surpassed Louisiana's 50% threshold on Election Day.

Landrieu is a co-sponsor of the Senate bill and sparked the renewed push for the pipeline earlier this week with the help of other centrist Democrats from conservative states who also back the pipeline despite opposition from most Democrats.

Cassidy said "of course'' the House vote helps his campaign efforts. There's an ad running in Louisiana now "talking about how passionate I am about creating energy jobs. And so the timing of this could not be better.''

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on the bill. If it overcomes a 60-vote threshold it will head to President Obama's desk where he will either sign it into law or veto it. The president has delayed a decision on the pipeline, deferring to an ongoing review at the State Department, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested Thursday that the president could veto it.

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