GOP on Keystone: This isn’t over

March 9, 2012

By Andrew Restuccia – The Hill

Republicans vowed to continue aggressively pushing for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline Thursday shortly after the Senate narrowly rejected a GOP-backed measure to greenlight the project.

The Senate Republicans who authored the Keystone provision told reporters they are working with House GOP leadership to ensure that a measure fast-tracking approval of the project is ultimately attached to the highway bill.

We intend to continue our efforts, including on this bill,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) told reporters shortly after the Senate Keystone vote. “Remember, we’re going to have to come to an agreement with the House, and I believe there is strong support for the Keystone XL pipeline project in the House as well.”


The Senate rejected Thursday night the Republican Keystone measure, which came up as an amendment to the Senate highway bill, in a 56-42 vote. Sixty votes were required for passage.

“We’re going to continue this fight on behalf of a project that the people of this country very much want,” Hoeven said.

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) said he hoped the measure could be added either during floor debate on the highway bill in the House or as part of a bicameral conference process aimed at coming to an agreement on the bill.

“If not, there will be other bills,” Lugar said, noting that Republicans successfully won inclusion in a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut of a measure requiring that Obama make a decision on the pipeline with 60 days.

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