Republicans push Keystone vote in Senate

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Tuesday that Republicans are trying to push for a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, after an up or down vote on the pipeline collapsed under Senate debate in May.

Barrasso told reporters Tuesday that Republicans will call up a bill co-sponsored by Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would approve the controversial oil sands pipeline Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans will ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow an up or down vote on the pipeline, which passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week.

Barrasso said this is to "see if this is just a show or if Democrats are serious about approving this pipeline."

Last week Barrasso railed against Landrieu, who is facing a tough reelection race this year, for calling a committee vote on her legislation with Hoeven, claiming it was a "show vote" for her constituents.

While Landrieu has long been a staunch supporter of the pipeline and is a proponent of fossil fuel development in her state, Barrasso blasted her for touting her position as chairwoman on the campaign trail.

"The chairwoman of the committee has talked about her significant clout and what I want to do is actually see a vote on the Senate floor," Barrasso said. "It doesn't stop there. You have to actually get it through the Senate before you've actually accomplished anything."

The push to vote on Keystone in the Senate comes as the House GOP is debating a bill that would bypass the presidential permit process for cross-border oil and natural gas pipelines like Keystone XL.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), would require the secretary of State to issue a "certificate of crossing" for a pipeline 120 days after the environmental review is finished.

It is expected to pass the House with ease. The White House issued a veto threat on the bill Tuesday.