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.