Bid to end Keystone debate fails

The Senate on Monday failed to end debate on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, making it likely that a final vote on the measure won't take place until next week.

In a 53-39 vote, the Senate fell six votes short of the 60 needed to end debate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Ky.) switched his vote from yes to no, a procedural move that allows him to bring up the motion again.

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The tally fell short because several Democrats who support building the pipeline voted to continue the debate. A number of GOP senators also missed the vote because of their travel plans. 

"Today Democrats reaffirmed we wanted to continue that process and we are not going to let McConnell shut the process down," Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerRed-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Trump's latest win: More Americans are saying, 'I quit!' MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters after the vote. 

"We don't want Sen. McConnell especially after all the hop-de-do about an open process, open amendments, to shut it down at his whim. We are not ready to do that yet, there are more amendments pending," Schumer said.

Four Democrats voted to end the debate: Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (N.D.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHarley stunner spikes tension with Trump over trade policy Races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (Colo.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (Ind.). Every Republican present in the chamber also voted to end debate.

Three Democrats voted against ending debate even though they support constructing the pipeline itself: Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Dems in terrible bind on Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race MORE (Mont.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race Trump delivers another promise to conservatives with Supreme Court MORE (Pa.) and Tom Caper (Del.).

Schumer wouldn't say how many more amendment votes Democrats would like to see. More than 150 amendments have been filed to the Keystone bill. 

Ahead of Monday's vote, McConnell laughed at Democrats for wanting more amendments, arguing they have had more opportunities to add measures to the underlying bill than Republicans had all of last year.

"We’ve had a lot of floor discussion. We’ve considered Democrat and Republican amendments," McConnell said Monday. 

The failed vote comes after McConnell tabled five Democratic amendments during a marathon midnight session last week, drawing criticism from Democrats who accused him of prematurely ending debate.

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick The dishonesty of the deep state The SCOTUS nomination clearly demonstrates that elections have consequences MORE (D-Nev.) chided McConnell on Twitter Monday evening.

"I've never seen debate shut down as aggressively as when Sen. McConnell refused to allow Dems to debate their own amendments for just 1 min.," Reid tweeted. "…and that's saying something."

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart asked why it made sense for Democrats to support a Keystone bill last November with no amendment or debate allowed but vote to filibuster a bill that has been debated for three weeks with votes on 24 amendments. 

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