Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation once again split their votes along party lines Wednesday, as the U.S. House of Representative defied a veto threat and passed legislation authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
All five Wisconsin Republicans voted yes, and all three Democrats voted no, as the measure passed on a 270-152 vote. The newly-seated Republican Senate endorsed the same bill last month. The bill did pass the House with support from about two dozen Democrats, although that’s not enough to override a promised veto from the president.
It was the 11th time the GOP-controlled House approved the pipeline, while freshman Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI) was among those getting a chance to vote on the issue for the first time. In a statement, Grothman noted “President Obama’s own administration has concluded that the project will have a multi-billion dollar impact on the economy while supporting more than 40,000 jobs, protecting the environment, and moving America closer to energy independence.” Grothman added that he hopes “the President reconsiders his veto and listens to members of both parties in supporting this commonsense legislation.”
The pipeline would move Canadian crude down the nation’s mid-section to the Gulf of Mexico. Opponents fear it could result in oil spills and cause environmental damage.