Over the past week, Sens. Mary Landrieu and John Hoeven have been trying to whip up the requisite 60 votes they would need to pass their legislation to immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline. They already had all of the Senate’s Republicans and eleven Democrats on board, as well as a tentative semi-agreement with the Senate majority leader to allow a standalone vote on the measure — but now Harry Reid is all mad about Republicans offering other amendments and threatening to pull the whole deal, via The Hill:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday rebuffed Republican demands for votes on amendments to an energy efficiency bill, possibly dooming consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Reid said he would not allow votes on any GOP-sponsored amendments later this week when the Senate considers the energy bill sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio.).
Reid’s decision likely scuttles a vote that was expected on the Keystone XL pipeline unless Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) capitulates on his demand for votes on GOP sponsored amendments.
Reid had earlier said he would allow a vote on stand-alone legislation to authorize the pipeline in exchange for an agreement from Republicans to allow an up-or-down final vote on Shaheen-Portman. …
“If they want to vote on Keystone, they can have a vote on Keystone, but enough is enough,” he told reporters.
Or, to put it more eloquently:
Sometimes, working with Senate Republicans feels a lot like chasing a greased pig. As we get close to making progress, they scamper away.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) May 6, 2014
…Anyway. As Allahpundit noted yesterday, it doesn’t look like Landrieu and Hoeven will be able to pull enough of the necessary Democrats over to their side anyway to clear the 60-vote threshold — but it’s worth noting in particular that, if the vote does proceed, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall apparently will not be joining the ranks of the vulnerable Democrats trying to prove their disloyalty to President Obama and enable the infrastructure buildup that we need to fully support our ongoing oil-and-gas boom. Via Fox31 (h/t to the WFB):
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is likely to vote against a possible amendment in the Senate this week that seeks to force the construction of the controversial KeystoneXL pipeline to transport oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
“Sen. Udall has been eminently clear that Congress should not inject politics into the administration’s ongoing review process,” said Mike Saccone, Udall’s spokesman. “That’s why he voted against Democratic and Republican amendments that attempted to dictate a result on the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“Any votes this week on the pipeline wouldn’t be any different.”
That’s been Udall’s story throughout this saga, and he’s evidently decided that he’s stickin’ to it for the duration. His argument for voting “no” isn’t supposed to come off as an outright rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, but rather an echo of the Obama administration’s (faux) position that we need to fully thresh out all of the pros and cons with endless impact reports and ulterior considerations and blah blah blah (as if we haven’t done so several times over), and that Congress should not interfere with the normal international review process under the executive’s jurisdiction. Just like with the administration, it protects him from the full wrath of both the [majority] pro-energy crowd and the [minority] well-monied, climate-hopenchange crowd — convenient, eh?