One of the first things that will be taken up by the new GOP controlled Senate is legislation authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which has become a cause celebre amongst Leftist activists. Why? It’s just one of those things, considering there are many other big pipeline projects that are being built or will soon be built, all without the same level of hysteria from the activists. Keystone has been approved many times through many studies, yet Mr. Obama has put off a decision. Congress has the statutory ability to authorize construction, and Democrats may help
(Politico) Senate Democrats are floating a handful of amendments to a Republican Keystone XL pipeline bill to prohibit exports of the Canadian oil and to push green energy as they prepare to take on the role of the minority party of the upper chamber.
“Consideration of this bill will provide us with the first opportunity to demonstrate that we will be united, energetic and effective in offering amendments that create a clear contrast with the Republican majority,” Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Vice Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) wrote Democratic colleagues Sunday in a letter obtained by POLITICO.
The coming days will be an important initial test for incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has pledged to have an open amendment process after he and Republicans frequently criticized how former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ran things.
Some of the amendments may pass, some will surely fail. You can see the main 5 that Democrats will offer up at the Politico link. Some are meant to be poison pills, but, if McConnell allows debate, something Harry Reid often refused to allow, Democrats can’t complain. The GOP could simply ramrod the legislation through, they have the votes, much as Democrats did during Harry Reid’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader. If the GOP can peel off some Democrats and get them to vote for Keystone, it will make it much harder for Obama to veto the bill.