#TBT: House Votes (Eight Times!) to Approve Keystone
Tomorrow the House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 5682, a bill authored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to approve the application for the Keystone XL pipeline. This will mark the ninth time the House has taken action to build the landmark jobs and energy project. Since taking the majority, House Republicans have remained committed to advancing the Keystone XL pipeline and its tens of thousands of jobs, but these efforts have continuously been blocked by the Senate and the Obama administration. Now, more than six years after the permit to construct Keystone was originally filed, Congress has another shot to get the pipeline built. With a commitment from the Senate to move Cassidy’s legislation, we look to send a bill to the president’s desk and get folks back to work.
Announcing the vote, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, "We can no longer afford the president’s delays; now is our chance to finally get Keystone across the finish line. The House has already had several bipartisan votes to approve this landmark project and we will continue this fight until we get the job done."
House votes on Keystone XL:
July 26, 2011 –The House approved H.R 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act. The bill authored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) was approved by a strong bipartisan vote of 279-147. This bipartisan legislation was designed to expedite the president’s decision on required permits for construction of the Keystone pipeline expansion, requiring the president to issue a Presidential Permit decision no later than November 1, 2011.
December 13, 2011 – The House approved the Middle Class Tax Relief and job Creation Act with a provision requiring the president to approve the presidential permit within 60 days unless the president determines the project is not in the national interest.
December 23, 2011 – Both the House and Senate unanimously approved – and President Obama then signed into law – a bill requiring approval of the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days unless the president determines the project does not serve the national interest.
February 16, 2012 – Following President Obama’s rejection of Keystone’s Presidential Permit, the House approved H.R. 3408, the PIONEERS Act, with language from Rep. Terry’s bill, H.R. 3548, the North American Energy Access Act. The legislation aimed to create a path forward for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by removing the president’s authority over the project and giving it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
April 18, 2012 – The House approved H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act, which included the language authored by Rep. Terry taking the pipeline out of the president’s hands. The bill passed with veto-proof support by a vote of 293-127.
May 18, 2012 – The House passed a Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348 to insist on Title II of the House bill regarding approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The motion passed with a bipartisan vote of 261-152.
May 22, 2013 – The House approved H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, with bipartisan support by a vote of 241 to 175. Sponsored by Rep. Terry, this legislation would end the regulatory delays blocking construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and finally allow the job-creating project to proceed.
September 18, 2014 – The House approved H.R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act, a broad package of energy solutions including the language of H.R. 3.