Republican senators and House members are seeking to work around President Barack Obama’s rejection of a permit for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline last month.
They are doing that by attaching provisions to transportation bills that would force approval of permit for TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline, The Hill
reports. The highway bills are working their way through Congress this week.
To be sure, there is little chance that the Democratic-controlled Senate will approve the amendment provisions and an even smaller chance that President Barack Obama would go for the idea. But it gives Republicans a strong campaign issue because the pipeline would create thousands of jobs.
“We believe Keystone is an important infrastructure project for this country. We will continue to work with leadership and all our colleagues to get a vote on the amendment and get it passed,” Ryan Bernstein, a senior aide to North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, told The Hill. Hoeven introduced the amendment with Sens. Dick Lugar and David Vitter.
A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Hill that “Keystone jobs are a priority” but declined to say how much focus Republican leaders would put on passing it during deliberations on the highway bill.
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