A 'magic number' to advance Keystone bill?

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said Tuesday that 11 to 15 Democrats plan on voting for her bill that would endorse the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. 

"Fifteen is the magic number to get to 60 to send the bill to the president to get the Keystone pipeline built," she said on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe."

Asked if she thinks the bill will pass, Landrieu said, "I hope so … I think the keystone pipeline should have been built a year ago." 

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The Senate is expected to begin debate Tuesday on an energy efficiency bill that could include a vote on a Keystone XL amendment.

Landrieu, however, wants a stand-alone vote on the pipeline.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) introduced the proposal with Landrieu, and both have suggested a stand-alone Keystone vote could be held if Republicans are unable to attach the oil-sands pipeline to the energy bill.

Landrieu, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, acknowledged there are "strong disagreements" over the pipeline’s construction, and said she’s "not sure" if President Obama’s delayed decision is politically-motivated.

"There are so many theories about the president," she said. "Honestly, I think he has some serious questions about how much it would contribute to the deteriorating climate situation."

The United States should be energy independent, Landrieu said, adding that the Ukraine-Russia crisis "should send shivers up [people’s] spines."

Landrieu didn't specifically identify other Democrats who might vote for the Keystone proposal.  

As of last week, the Democratic supporters are Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and John Walsh (Mont.). 

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