Good Friday News Dump Riles Keystone Supporters on the Hill

Landrieu has been, perhaps, the biggest Democratic advocate of the pipeline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reaction to news that the State Department would take more time to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project was swift and predictable.  

"On April 18, 2014, the Department of State notified the eight federal agencies specified in Executive Order 13337 we will provide more time for the submission of their views on the proposed Keystone Pipeline Project," the State Department said. "State Agencies need additional time based on the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state."  

GOP Could Force Vote to Negate Obamacare Carve-Out for Unions

Thune signed on to a letter criticizing what the GOP is calling an Obamacare "carve-out" for labor unions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans have at least one arrow in their quiver to force an uncomfortable Obamacare vote for Democrats seeking re-election in 2014.  

That's one takeaway from a new letter signed by 25 GOP senators led by John Thune of South Dakota, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. The letter sent to Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell criticized an exemption from a re-insurance fee for self-insured health plans, calling the maneuver a carve-out for labor unions that run such plans.  

Olympic Medal Tax Exemption Has Bipartisan Support

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John Thune is leading a revived effort for an Olympic medal tax exemption.  

"Most countries not only compensate their Olympic and Paralympic athletes, but also welcome them home with celebrations. In the United States, athletes are welcomed home from winning on a world stage with a tax bill," the Republican said in a statement. "Winning an Olympic medal should be a source of great pride for our athletes and the federal government should celebrate their achievement rather than tax their success."