Lame Duck Senate Will Vote To Approve Keystone Pipeline

Senate Democratic leaders have agreed to hold a vote on approval of the Keystone pipeline as early as next week, dropping their longstanding objections after losing their majority last week.

A vote is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, according to the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who are poised to trade titles in January.

The deal was announced within an hour of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) demanding a vote. She faces a tough runoff election on Dec. 6.

McConnell attributed the Democrats’ change of heart to the election.

“The American people have elected a new Republican Majority in the Senate and that has already made a difference,” he said. “I was glad to see that Senate Democrats have finally backed off trying to obstruct construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the single largest shovel-ready project in America.”

Legislation to approve the pipeline has broad support in the Senate and was all but guaranteed to pass under the coming Republican majority if Democrats resisted a vote on it during the lame duck session.

The House is planning to vote on Thursday for legislation to approve the pipeline, offered by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Landrieu’s opponent in the runoff.

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