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Both sides consider Mr. Obama’s decision a sign of what approach he will take to energy and the environment in his second term.

Opponents have been protesting in Washington and Texas. On Capitol Hill, support appears to be building. A bipartisan group of senators is urging Mr. Obama to approve the pipeline quickly.

After Mr. Obama rejected the initial proposal in January, the pipeline’s route was adjusted to satisfy some environmental concerns.


Ex-president remains hospitalized for cough

HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush remains in stable condition at a Houston hospital, where he is being treated for a lingering cough related to bronchitis.

George Kovacik, a spokesman for Methodist Hospital, said Sunday there has been no change over the past couple of days in the status of the 88-year-old Mr. Bush.

Aides originally said the 41st president could be released from the hospital over the weekend. But his cough has yet to clear up, meaning he has stayed put while doctors “play it safe.”

Mr. Bush has been in and out of the hospital recently for complications resulting from bronchitis.

Hospital visitors have included Mr. Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush, and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush. They live in Dallas.


Feds propose ‘pay to play’ for new insurance market

Health insurance companies will have to pay to play in new health insurance markets coming under President Obama’s health care law.

The federal Health and Human Services department said Friday it is proposing a “user fee” amounting to 3.5 percent of premiums for health insurers who want to offer policies in the new federal exchanges coming in 2014.

Exchanges are online markets where consumers will be able to buy individual policies and see if they qualify for government subsidies. Washington will run the exchanges in states that decline to do so.

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