This afternoon the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Senate-passed version of a bill that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. As was the case last month, all four Iowans were part of the House majority that passed the bill by 270 votes to 152 (roll call). Dave Loebsack (IA-02) was one of 29 Democrats who voted yes today; his record on previous bills related to the pipeline is mixed. President Barack Obama has said he will veto the Keystone XL bill. The big question is what he will do if Congress includes similar language in other “must-pass” legislation.
Yesterday the House passed two bills related to the Transportation Security Agency. Members unanimously approved a bill “aimed at stopping the Transportation Security Agency from overpaying some of its workers to act as investigators, when they aren’t really investigating anything,” Pete Kasperowicz reported for The Blaze. The other bill, approved with only one dissenting vote, is intended to improve security at U.S. airports, in particular contingency plans for terrorist incidents.
Also today, House members including all four Iowans unanimously approved a bill to award “a Congressional Gold Medal to the Foot Soldiers who participated in Bloody Sunday, Turnaround Tuesday, or the final Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in March of 1965, which served as a catalyst for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” However, House Republicans rejected calls from Democratic leaders to quickly pass legislation that would reanimate the Voting Rights Act after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of that law in 2013.