House approves Keystone bill, as court ruling delivers win to pipeline backers

The House easily passed a bill on Friday authorizing construction of the Keystone pipeline, just hours after Nebraska’s highest court tossed a lawsuit challenging the route — increasing pressure on President Obama to approve the long-delayed project.

The House approved the bill on a 266-153 vote, with 28 Democrats joining majority Republicans in voting for it. The Senate is set to consider the legislation next week, and sponsors say it has more than enough support to pass.

But the White House is threatening to veto. And even though the Nebraska court case was one of the reasons the administration has been reluctant to act, the ruling earlier Friday did little to change the president’s position.

Spokesman Eric Schultz made clear Obama still wants to wait for a State Department review process to “play out,” though the department will review the court decision. He said regardless of the ruling, the House bill conflicts with presidential authority and the review process.

“If presented to the president, he will veto the bill,” Schultz said…



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Related:  Democrats launch first filibuster of the year on Keystone

…Keystone has bipartisan support, but President Obama has vowed a veto. Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said he thinks there could be enough Democrats willing to support the pipeline that the Senate could overturn an Obama veto, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her troops in the lower chamber would sustain Mr. Obama’s veto.



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