GOP doesn't give Landrieu break on Keystone

In an election year with control of the Senate up for grabs, Sen. Mary Landrieu isn't getting a break on issues that she and Republicans would otherwise agree on, such as the Keystone XL pipeline.

The GOP on Wednesday slammed the vulnerable Louisiana Democrat, who sits as chairwoman on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, for scheduling what they dubbed a "show vote" on the $3.4 billion oil-sands project.

ADVERTISEMENT
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) released a web ad ahead of the committee's vote that compiles clips of Landrieu touting her influence as chairwoman.

The NRSC scolds Landrieu for boasting about her position while having little to show for it, blaming the Democrat for not being able to convince Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow a Keystone amendment on an energy bill before the Senate in May.

The attacks on Landrieu, who faces a tough reelection opponent in Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), trickled into the Senate committee mark up, in which the bill approving Keystone XL passed.

Landrieu defended herself against the accusations that the vote was merely a "show" for constituents back home.

"There was no popcorn and Coca-Cola handed out today at this meeting," Landrieu said. "And there were no tickets sold to get in here. This is the United States Senate; this is the Energy Committee."

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), an advocate of the pipeline, continued the harsh rhetoric against Landrieu.

"This vote seems more like a cheerleading exercise than a meaningful effort to get Keystone built," Barrasso said.

In an attempt to flip the attacks back, Landrieu stressed the need to focus on policy over politics.

"It’s very disappointing that you would direct your remarks at politics and not the policy before this committee. It’s very disappointing to me and I think to every member here, most members here, that we, those of us supporting this pipeline, are trying to move it forward."