Major Stumbling Block to Transportation Bill May be Removed

In a promising sign for the negotiation and passage of a comprehensive transportation bill, the GOP is hinting it may be willing to part with demands to include a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the final bill, reports Ben Geman.
May 17, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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In negotiations to reconcile the House approved transportation funding measure, which grants a permit to TransCanada's pipeline, and the bipartisan approved Senate bill, which does not, Geman reports that Republicans "appear unlikely to draw a line in the sand [on Keystone XL] that jeopardizes the infrastructure legislation."

Of course, the GOP is not bending on the issue out of the goodness of their hearts, they see it as a political weapon that can be put to good use throughout the campaign season. "The overall Republican conference position is not to sink the conference report over [Keystone XL], however, as keeping that issue alive through the elections is also acceptable," an oil industry source told The Hill.

"Some other Capitol Hill sources similarly suggested that Republicans won't allow the Keystone provision - which fell short of the 60 Senate backers needed in a recent vote - to derail talks over the bill, which extends popular transportation and infrastructure programs."

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Published on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 in The Hill
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