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 McConnellMitch McConnellDems delay Senate panel vote on Supreme Court nominee This week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat The Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over healthcare MORE (R-Ky.) switched his vote from yes to no, a procedural move that allows him to bring up the motion again.

ADVERTISEMENT
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 SchumerAndrew Cuomo 2020? Democrats should say 'Fugetaboutit' Dems delay Senate panel vote on Supreme Court nominee Could Trump and the Democrats make 'ObamaCare Lite' any lighter? 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 ManchinJoe ManchinPence pushes Manchin in home state to support Gorsuch Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Finance: Senators spar over Wall Street at SEC pick's hearing | New CBO score for ObamaCare bill | Agency signs off on Trump DC hotel lease The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (N.D.), Michael BennetMichael BennetTrump’s budget jeopardizes America’s public lands heritage Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (Colo.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate Dems: We won't help pass additional health bills 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 TesterJon TesterUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief urges Congress to approve budget boost | Senate fight over NATO addition MORE (Mont.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Friends, foes spar in fight on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee 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 ReidAfter healthcare fail, 4 ways to revise conservative playbook Dem senator 'not inclined to filibuster' Gorsuch This obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all 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. 

Reid and Sens. Mark KirkMark KirkObamaCare repeal bill would defund Planned Parenthood Leaked ObamaCare bill would defund Planned Parenthood GOP senator won't vote to defund Planned Parenthood MORE (R-Ill.), John McCainJohn McCainCheney: Russian election interference could be ‘act of war’ Grassley wants details on firm tied to controversial Trump dossier Republicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report MORE (R-Ariz.), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-Mo.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiAfter 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? DC restaurant owners sue Trump hotel over unfair competition: report Meet the Trump pick who could lead Russia probe MORE (D-Md.), Jerry MoranJerry MoranGOP lawmakers lead way in holding town halls Yahoo reveals new details about security A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Kan.), Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's Labor pick Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE (R-Fla.) and Mark WarnerMark WarnerSunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill Devin Nunes has jeopardized the oversight role of Congress Senators push Trump on defense deals with India MORE (D-Va.) missed the vote.