The House went on record Friday to insist that lawmakers negotiating a transportation programs funding bill include approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
The non-binding 261-152 vote signals support for the pipeline in the lower chamber, but also cuts the number of Democrats that Republicans can claim want Keystone in the transportation bill.
Twenty-six Democrats voted Friday for Rep. John Barrow’s (D-Ga.) motion to instruct negotiators to uphold the House language that authorizes the pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
In April, 69 Democrats supported the House transportation bill – a tally that GOP leaders cite when urging inclusion of Keystone in any final House-Senate deal on a transportation package.
However, a number of Democrats said at the time that they voted for the bill as a way to enable negotiations to begin.
The Senate’s version of the transportation bill omits approval of the Keystone pipeline.