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Congress Sends Obama Bill to Approve Keystone Pipeline

Congressional Republicans passed legislation approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Wednesday, sending it to President Barack Obama, who has pledged to veto the bill.

The controversial pipeline was easily approved in a 270 to 152 vote, with support from 29 Democrats. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash was the only Republican to vote against the bill.

Environmentalists have argued for years that the pipeline would cause pollution and contribute to climate change. Obama has said it would have little impact on the economy and the price of oil in the U.S.

But Republicans have framed Keystone as a jobs bill and pledged to authorize construction after taking control of the Senate last month.

“Instead of listening to the people, the president is standing with a bunch of left-wing extremists and anarchists,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday.

It is unlikely the Senate could reach the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto, but proponents have said they will look to other legislative tactics -- such as attaching Keystone to a larger bill that could have bipartisan support -- to bypass Obama.

-- Andrew Rafferty

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