The House voted Friday to authorize the long-stalled Keystone pipeline, an action that Republicans arranged only after Senate Democrats flip-flopped and decided to hold their own Keystone vote in an effort to save the Senate seat of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).
When the Senate signaled it would move on Keystone, House Republicans introduced an identical bill that the House passed easily on Friday in a 252-161 vote — 31 Democrats voted with Republicans, and seven of them are from Texas, a state the pipeline is expected to help economically.
That’s an improvement among Democrats from 2013, when 19 Democrats voted to approve the pipeline.
The House vote, in addition to the sudden movement in the Senate, shows once again that support for the project exists in both parties, even though it has been blocked for political reasons in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had prohibited a clean vote on the pipeline over fears that it would hurt Democrats, and advance a project that the Obama administration opposes.