Lame Duck Senate Will Vote To Approve Keystone Pipeline

In this photo taken July 11, 2012, Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, and Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, right, participate in an award ceremony at the U.S. Capito... In this photo taken July 11, 2012, Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, and Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, right, participate in an award ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The two Senate leaders appeared separately on CBS's "Meet the Press" Sunday, July 14, 2013, sparring on the eve of a rare closed-door session, where all senators will consider a proposal to change Senate rules to remove a 60-vote threshold for President Barack Obama's nominations to win confirmation. Reid says the changes are minimal and would help Obama round out his team. McConnell says Reid would be "breaking the rules of the Senate in order to change the rules of the Senate." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) MORE LESS
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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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