Republicans introduce long shot bill to circumvent Biden on Keystone XL
Republicans in both chambers of Congress are taking on a long shot bid to reinvigorate the Keystone XL pipeline after President Biden canceled a key permit for the oil pipeline project last month.
Lawmakers, led by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), introduced a bill that would give permission for the controversial pipeline to be constructed and operate across the U.S.-Canada border.
The bill specifies that the pipeline would not need a permit from the president.
“We must reverse Biden’s disastrous decision and send a clear message that supporting American workers is more important than supporting Saudi Arabia and allowing radical environmentalists to cash in on campaign promises,” Daines said in a statement.
The legislation, which is backed by 86 House members and 15 senators, would face an uphill battle in both chambers.
Biden said in his executive order revoking the permit for the pipeline that the project “disserves” U.S. national interest and that “leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”
Lawmakers had previously said they would introduce legislation seeking to circumvent the move.
The GOP bill comes amid tensions between Republicans and the White House over energy issues following the Keystone XL decision as well as a move to pause new oil and gas leasing on public lands.
Last week, 26 Republican senators wrote to Biden panning his public lands and Keystone XL decisions while requesting a meeting with him.
“Your actions will have grave consequences for our constituents, and taking these actions on your very first week as President, with no input from those of us who represent these hard working Americans is counter to the desires of the American people who want practical, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges, and who want policies that support working families,” they wrote.
Asked about the request, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time that they didn’t have plans for meeting and that it “sounds like a lot of people to be in a meeting during COVID” but that the president is “engaged on an individual basis with leaders in the Senate.”
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