Keystone one vote from 60 in Senate

Keystone one vote from 60 in Senate
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Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuYou want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible CNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' CNN's Van Jones: O'Keefe Russia 'nothingburger' video 'a hoax' MORE (D-La.) and her allies are one vote away from securing a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes for the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the Senate.

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet15 Dems urge FEC to adopt new rules for online political ads Lawmakers put their beer brewing skills to test for charity Bipartisan lawmakers can rebuild trust by passing infusion therapy bill MORE (D-Colo.) is expected to vote in favor of the oil sands project, Landrieu said Friday on a call with reporters.

“He feels very strongly about it,” she said.

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The support of Bennet puts the vote count Keystone at 59, ahead of a critical vote in the Senate next week.

Asked whether she has the 60 votes needed to move forward, Landrieu predicted she would get there.

"I am going to say I'm confident I'll have the 60 votes."

The House on Friday passed an identical version of the bill to approve Keystone, which was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

Cassidy and Landrieu are battling it out in a Louisiana Senate runoff scheduled for Dec. 6, pushing Keystone to the forefront of the agenda in Congress.

Landrieu has corralled 14 Democrats for the Senate Keystone bill, the latest being Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDemocrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  Pruitt to testify on EPA agenda at House, Senate hearings Senate confirms top air regulator at EPA MORE (Del.) and Bennet.

Other Democrats who were seen as possible "yes" votes on the pipeline have declined to join the push.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonReport: FCC chair to push for complete repeal of net neutrality Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal Democrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  MORE (D-Fla.), who was courted by Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenOvernight Health Care: Initial Senate tax bill doesn't repeal ObamaCare mandate | 600K sign up for ObamaCare in first four days | Feds crack down on opioid trafficking Overnight Finance: Senate GOP unveils different approach on tax reform | House tax bill heads to floor | House leaders eye vote next week | AT&T denies pressure for CNN sale Adoption tax credit restored after conservative backlash MORE (R-N.D.) and Landrieu, will vote “no” on the Keystone bill, his spokesman said Friday.

Nelson supports the pipeline but only with a ban on exporting the oil it transports.

Similarly, Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsA simple way to make America even greater is fixing our patent system Ensuring that defense agencies will have access to a community of entrepreneurs and innovators McConnell: 'I don't hear much pressure' to pass bill protecting Mueller from Trump MORE (D-Del.) said he would against approving the project, which would ship Canadian crude oil from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.

A possible fence-sitter, Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingFeinstein seeks contact with FBI informant in Russia nuclear bribery case Overnight Finance: Trump calls for ObamaCare mandate repeal, cuts to top tax rate | Trump to visit Capitol Hill in tax reform push | CBO can't do full score before vote | Bipartisan Senate bill would ease Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Regulation: Bipartisan Senate bill would curb Dodd-Frank rules | Opioid testing rule for transport workers finalized | Google faces state antitrust probe | Dems want investigation into FCC chief MORE (I-Maine), is “leaning no,” according to his spokesman, giving some hope to Keystone supporters that he might change his mind.

Landrieu’s move to push a vote on the pipeline within minutes of Congress returning for the lame-duck session was unexpected, and seen as a move to boost her chances in the runoff against Cassidy.

Landrieu said she “didn’t ask for permission” when going to the floor Wednesday evening to request unanimous consent on a vote to pass a bill that approves construction of the pipeline.

“I didn’t tell Democratic leadership what I was going to do,” she said.

The move has been called a “hail-mary pass” by some Republicans, though they are not objecting to the vote.

Republicans have long pushed for approving Keystone, arguing President Obama is stalling on a project that would create jobs and boost the energy sector.

The House passed Cassidy’s bill, which adopted the language from Hoeven and Landrieu’s bill, on Friday in a 252-161 vote.

If the Senate passes that Keystone bill on Tuesday, it would head to President Obama’s desk for a possible veto.

Obama said lawmakers shouldn’t “short circuit” the current process at the State Department for reviewing the project.

“I’ve been clear in the past … and my position hasn’t changed, that this is a process that is supposed to be followed,”  he said in Burma.

— This story was updated at 2:37 p.m.