What explains the loss of 20 yes votes? Eight Democrats switched their votes, and a more liberal freshman class replaced some of the House’s more conservative members. Reps. John D. Dingell (Mich.), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), David Loebsack (Iowa), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), Albio Sires (N.J.) and Timothy Walz (Minn.) all voted aye for Barrow’s motion last year, and against Terry’s measure on Wednesday. Meanwhile, 42 of the 47 Democratic members of the freshman class opposed Terry’s bill.
Rep. Jan. Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a fierce critic of the pipeline, said in an interview shortly before the final vote that she was pleased that moderate Democrats were willing to defend President Obama’s right to make a final decision on Keystone. “Even proponents of the pipeline, like [West Virginia Democratic Rep.] Nick Jo Rahall and John Dingell are casting a no vote because of the process,” she said…
In a statement, Lynch called Terry’s bill “a blatant attempt to strip President Obama of his authority to conduct meaningful review of that project,” and challenged the idea that he had switched sides on the issue.
“The bill would set a very bad precedent and is very likely an example of unconstitutional overreach. For those reasons, I chose to oppose the bill,” he added. “I have repeatedly supported enhanced review of this project and await the administration’s decision. I have enjoyed a strong lifetime record on environmental issues and I will continue to support efforts to meet our energy needs in a sustainable way. My vote on H.R. 3 is consistent with my earlier positions.”