Tags: mary landrieu | keystone | pipeline | vote | senate | race

Landrieu Touts Bipartisanship, Begs For Keystone Pipeline Vote

By    |   Wednesday, 12 November 2014 07:24 PM

Facing an uphill re-election race, Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu took to the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to implore members of the House and Senate to vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline by Thursday.

"This has been a project that has lingered far too long. It is clearly supported by sixty or more members of this body," Landrieu said in a floor speech just minutes after the Senate began its "lame duck" session, the National Journal reports. "And I believe with a push, a significant push in the next few hours, that we could actually get the votes we need to pass the Keystone pipeline."

For months, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has blocked the issue from coming to a vote. But a spokesman for Reid said Wednesday that the Nevada Democrat will not try to prevent the pipeline bill from going forward.

Landrieu desperately wants the Senate to vote on the pipeline, believing that doing so could help her in the runoff election next month, where she faces Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. Prior to Election Day last Tuesday, Landrieu emphasized her position as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, putting her in a position to deliver for her constituents. But with Republicans having won at least 53 Senate seats in the next Congress, she has already lost her chairmanship.

Landrieu nonetheless is said to believe that forcing the Senate to vote on the pipeline would show that she still has influence in the Senate.

Landrieu spoke about the importance of bipartisanship and her willingness to work with incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to make the pipeline a reality.

Within an hour of her floor speech, House Republican leaders announced that that chamber will vote Thursday on a bill sponsored by Cassidy to build the pipeline.

When she learned that the House would vote on the pipeline Thursday, Landrieu responded "Hallelujah," adding that pipeline backers now have "a clearer path to victory."

Landrieu's relations with senior Democrats, however appear quite strained. Minutes before she spoke about the pipeline on the floor, reporters watched a bizarre exchange in the Senate basement between Landrieu and Sen. Charles Schumer, in which the veteran New York Democrat said, "Mary, we need to talk" and Landrieu declined, the Daily Caller reports.
 
Landrieu is unhappy with her treatment by Democratic colleagues since Election Day – in particular the decision by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to stop purchasing advertising on her behalf in Louisiana.

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Facing an uphill re-election race, Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu took to the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to implore members of the House and Senate to vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline by Thursday.
mary landrieu, keystone, pipeline, vote, senate, race
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2014-24-12
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 07:24 PM
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