House rejects Dem's constitutional challenge to Keystone bill

In attempt to stop progress on the bill, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) raised a question of the privileges of the House. This is a process members can use to stop proceedings that affect the safety, dignity and integrity of the House.

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Grayson argued that the House should not take up the Keystone bill, H.R. 3, because it would remove the need for the President to approve the pipeline. In doing so, he said, this bill would violate the Constitution by allowing Congress to essentially execute the law, something that is reserved for the Executive Branch.

After a back-and-forth debate between Grayson and presiding officer Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Simpson ruled that the legislation does not affect the rights of House members, nor their safety or dignity. As such, he said, Grayson's ruling does not qualify.

Grayson first raised his question of the privileges of the House on Monday.