Republicans’ near-term agenda: pipeline, student loan, debt bills May 3, 2013, 3:53 PM

House Republicans in May are planning to push legislation including bills that would speed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, tie student loan interest rates to market rates for federal borrowing, and ensure that Treasury bondholders are paid if the U.S. hits the debt ceiling.

And, said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a memo to Republicans, while no date is locked in, “I expect that the House will vote on full repeal of Obamacare in the near future.”

“I expect the House to have a full legislative agenda in May,” Cantor said in the memo.

House and Senate lawmakers return on Monday from a week-long recess.

Republicans’ ambitions are clear on a variety of economic issues, but outlook for passage of these bills is less certain. Last month, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew rejected the bill that would prioritize debt payments, saying: “There is no way to pick and choose about paying your bills without being in default on one or another obligation.”

Republicans charge that the Obama administration is preventing construction of TransCanada’s TRP +0.04% Keystone XL Pipeline, and their bill would ensure it is built “without any further delay.” However it’s unclear whether the Democrat-controlled Senate would take up such a bill.

Cantor, meanwhile, appears to be expecting strong passage in the House of these and other measures. “Our conservative solutions to the challenges facing American families today are the right solutions, and the results will speak for themselves,” he said.

– Robert Schroeder

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