White House: No deadline on Keystone

White House press secretary Jay Carney attempted to sideline any noise that President Obama would establish a hard deadline for his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline Thursday.

"Our position on that process hasn’t changed, which is that it needs to run its appropriate course without interference from the White House or Congress," Carney said to reporters. "It was because of actions taken by Republicans in Congress that one delay was caused in the process already."

"So that review continues at the State Department, where it’s housed in accordance with past practice of previous administrations of both parties. And when there’s a decision to be announced, it will be announced," Carney said.

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On Thursday morning, 11 Senate Democrats sent a letter to Obama, urging him to approve the $5.4 billion project by May 31.

The Democrats, led by Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Wells Fargo board to decide on executive clawbacks MORE (N.D.) and Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuLouisiana needs Caroline Fayard as its new senator La. Senate contender books seven-figure ad buy Crowded field muddies polling in Louisiana Senate race MORE (La.), who faces a stiff reelection bid this year, requested that Obama set a hard timeline for Secretary of State John Kerry to finish the department's national interest determination on the pipeline.

Shortly after Kerry wraps that up, the senators told Obama he should only take a few weeks before making his final decision at the end of May.