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 BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election 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 John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election 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 McConnellAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money Klobuchar taking over Franken's sexual assault bill 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.