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Boehner to Kerry: Stop the Keystone secrecy

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouston Chronicle endorses Beto O'Rourke in Texas Senate race The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — House postpones Rosenstein meeting | Trump hits Dems over Medicare for all | Hurricane Michael nears landfall Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger MORE (R-Ohio) scolded the State Department Thursday for refusing to release comments submitted by agencies on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

"When Secretary [of State John] Kerry was sworn in, he guaranteed — and he used that word, ‘guaranteed’ — a fair, transparent and accountable review of the Keystone pipeline," Boehner said.

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Eight agencies were asked to comment by Monday on whether the $8 billion pipeline is in the nation's best interest, and all eight complied.

The State Department initially said it was not going to say which agencies sent over comments and which did not.

Questioned by reporters about the transparency pledge, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki shot back that "a great deal of information here is public" and stressed that the comments are part of an "internal" review process.

Boehner accused the State Department, which is responsible for reviewing Keystone's permit, of "stonewalling and refusing to answer basic questions about its review."

"I am calling on Secretary Kerry to address this issue, and immediately deliver the transparency and accountability that he promised the American people," Boehner said.

Kerry is tasked with reviewing the comments submitted and sending a recommendation to President Obama on whether the pipeline is in the nation's best interest. 

While the six-year review appears to be nearing the finish line, there is no timeline for Kerry to submit his recommendation to the president.

As the department wraps up its review, Congress is planning to send legislation that would approve the Canada-to-Texas pipeline to the president.

Obama is expected to issue his first veto under the new Republican Congress.