Congressional Democrats decided to stop being polite and start being real about the Keystone XL approval process. Twenty representatives had already petitioned Secretary of State Clinton to look into the issue, and now 14 members of Congress are calling for the State Department's inspector general to investigate.

Given that at least some of the problem seems to come from inside the State Department, this is a little peculiar — they're asking the IG to look into whether the relationship between State and TransCanada was too close for regulatory comfort. They're also requesting a re-review of the environmental analysis, which has been tainted by the discovery that the firm conducting it was a client of TransCanada's.

The lawmakers are also requesting that Obama delay approving the pipeline until this is all sorted out.

“Given the significant economic, environmental, and public health implications of the proposed pipeline, we believe that it is critical that the State Department conduct thorough, unbiased reviews of the project,” states the letter Wednesday from lawmakers including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and eight other House Democrats.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

That's basically what a bunch of House members said to Secretary Clinton two weeks ago, but now there are senators in the mix so maybe it will be taken seriously.