House approves bill setting timeline for permitting drilling projects

But the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, and the White House has blasted the legislation, arguing that it would “undercut” beefed-up safety standards imposed by the administration in the aftermath of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Republicans cast the legislation Wednesday as essential for restarting and expanding drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of last year’s spill. They have accused the Interior Department of moving too slowly in issuing permits.

“America is on her way back and it starts in the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s put the Gulf back to work so we can put America back to work,” Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) said.

But Democrats countered that the bill sacrifices safety in order to speed up permitting.

Republicans rejected 11 amendments offered to the bill by Democrats.