Categorized | Senate News Briefing

Key Vote On Keystone XL Bill Tonight; Will Democrats Back It?

This evening, the Senate will have its first critical vote on advancing the bill authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline. Sixty votes will be needed for the Senate to eventually approve the bill and send it to President Obama.


Six Democrats are cosponsors of the legislation: Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Mark Warner (D-VA). If all of these cosponsors vote for this bill, it can pass and be sent to the president. Of course, even more should vote for it, since it is a common sense bill that creates jobs and builds North American energy infrastructure.


Many of these same Democrats haven’t been shy in the past with their support for this pipeline. Earlier this month, Sen. Manchin said, “We have everything to gain by building this pipeline, especially since it would help create thousands of jobs right here at home and limit our dependence on foreign oil. Every state – including West Virginia – would benefit economically from this activity. It is my sincere hope that we can once and for all move forward with this important project.” Sen. Tester called it “a win-win for Montana’s economy and our energy security” and Sen. Heitkamp said “it’s time for the State Department and President to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.” Sen. McCaskill declared, “To me, this has always been common sense to be for the pipeline.”


If these Democrats all support the pipeline, as they have in the past, the president will finally be forced to make a decision on it. Will he back a job-creating shovel-ready infrastructure project that promotes energy development like he frequently says he wants to approve? Or will he listen to the far left and rich environmentalist donors like Tom Steyer?


President Obama’s actions over the weekend don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Yet again, he’s done an end-run around Congress and unilaterally imposed more limits on drilling and energy production in Alaska. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Obama administration is moving this week to designate areas of Alaska off limits to oil and natural gas drilling in its latest effort to bolster its environmental legacy. The Interior Department announced on Sunday that it was proposing to preserve as wilderness nearly 13 million acres of land in the 19.8 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including 1.5 million acres of coastal plains that is believed to have rich oil and natural gas resources. Later this week, the department also is slated to propose a draft offshore leasing plan that is expected to include more limits on future oil and gas production in Alaska. . . . While setting aside lands as wilderness requires congressional approval—something this administration is unlikely to get with both chambers controlled by Republicans—the proposed move puts the area into a state of de facto designation as wilderness and would prevent drilling, an Interior Department spokeswoman said.”


The Washington Post notes, “The move marks the latest instance of Obama’s aggressive use of executive authority to advance his top policy priorities. While only Congress can create a wilderness area, once the federal government identifies a place for that designation, it receives the highest level of protection until Congress acts or a future administration adopts a different approach.


“It also reflects the influence of White House senior counselor John Podesta, who is stepping down next month to help launch Hillary Rodham Clinton’s expected presidential bid. Podesta, who helped oversee several of President Bill Clinton’s major public lands initiatives while serving as his chief of staff, has elevated conservation issues to the top of the White House agenda since joining Obama’s staff a year ago. . . .


‘What’s coming is a stunning attack on our sovereignty and our ability to develop a strong economy that allows us, our children and our grandchildren to thrive,’ Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement. ‘It’s clear this administration does not care about us, and sees us as nothing but a territory. . . . I cannot understand why this administration is willing to negotiate with Iran, but not Alaska. But we will not be run over like this. We will fight back with every resource at our disposal.’”


Just a week ago, President Obama, was boasting in his State of the Union address about increased energy production in the United States. Yet that development is in spite of years of actions like this one. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace reminded White House Chief of Staff John McDonough of this fact. McDonough declared, “More oil and gas produced in this country than ever before.” Wallace admonished, “Again, no thanks to this administration.”


About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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