Congressman Alan Grayson

Representing the 9th District of Florida

Grayson: Keystone XL Pipeline is an Earmark

May 21, 2013
Press Release
Representative Offers Resolution to Prohibit Consideration of Keystone Bill

Grayson: Keystone XL Pipeline is an Earmark

Representative Offers Resolution to Prohibit Consideration of Keystone Bill

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-09) has introduced a resolution prohibiting the House of Representatives from considering a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project. The House will vote on approval of the pipeline this week when it considers H.R. 3 the ‘Northern Route Approval Act’.

Grayson offered his resolution, H. Res. 225, as a ‘question of privilege’ on the House floor last night. Representatives may raise a question of privilege when they believe the safety, dignity, or integrity of House proceedings is affected.  

Grayson stated that H.R. 3 affects the rights of the House collectively, as well as the dignity and integrity of congressional proceedings (House Rule IX), because it is unconstitutional and an earmark. He believes that the bill violates the separation of powers and the earmark ban instituted by House Republicans, as explained in an attached letter.

House Rules define an earmark as legislation authorizing a grant to an entity outside of statutory, administrative, or competitive award process. Section 6 of H.R. 3 grants a right-of-way and a temporary use permit, outside of an established statutory, administrative, or competitive award process, to only one entity: the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill also is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers, and offends the principle underlying the prohibition of bills of attainder.

Speaker John Boehner has two days to consider and respond to Grayson’s resolution.

“The Keystone XL Pipeline deal is an earmark to a foreign corporation, plain and simple,” Grayson said. “House Republicans claim to have been incredibly keen on ridding our legislative system of Congressional earmarks—yet here they are—hypocritically sneaking one in for a foreign corporation. They seem to believe that the ‘no earmarks’ rule does not apply to them. That’s just unacceptable.”

Congressman Alan Grayson represents Florida’s 9th Congressional District, which includes Osceola County, as well as parts of Orange and Polk counties. He previously served as the U.S. Representative for Florida's 8th Congressional District in the 111th Congress.