Senate Democrats Consider Keystone Pipeline Vote In Lame Duck Session

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Senate Democratic leaders are considering holding a vote to approve the Keystone pipeline in the lame-duck session before they hand over the majority to Republicans.

A senior Democratic aide said the idea was “under discussion, but a final outcome has not been determined.”

Part of the calculus may be to boost Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) prospects for reelection in her tough runoff with Republican Bill Cassidy on December 6. Landrieu has repeatedly called for a vote on Keystone, but she has been attacked by Cassidy for failing to persuade Democrats to bring it up so far.

“Sen. Landrieu is leading the charge for it,” the Democratic aide, who requested anonymity to discuss the closed-door deliberations, said.

The news was first reported on Wednesday by Bloomberg.

Passage of legislation to approve the Keystone pipeline is increasingly seen as inevitable once Republicans take over the Senate and expand their majority in the House in January. The idea also has the support of numerous Democrats. The White House has not made a final determination on the pipeline.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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