House to vote on Keystone bill Friday

The House will vote on legislation to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Friday, setting up a vote in the Senate for next week. 

The bill is expected to pass the lower chamber easily as the House has approved legislation authorizing the $8 billion oil sands project a number of times.

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The vote will be held on Friday, Matt Sparks, spokesman for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told The Hill.

The Rules Committee has yet to meet, however, making it unclear whether amendments will be allowed on the floor. 

House Democrats urged Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (R-Ohio) last week not to rush a vote on the pipeline, asking for time to hold hearings on the legislation.

“Given the magnitude of this issue, we urge you not to bypass the committee process and regular order for consideration of this controversial legislation," Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.) and Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) wrote to BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE.

The House decision comes ahead of a pending Senate vote. 

On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to approve Keystone XL.

The committee will hold a markup on the bill the following day, setting up a vote in the Senate as early as next week. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFlake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending MORE (R-Ky.) has said he will allow an open amendment process on a floor vote.

Republicans are eager to get the Keystone bill to President Obama's desk, forcing him to likely hand out his first veto to the new Congress.