McConnell: Obama is ‘dragging’ his feet on Keystone

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) chided Democrats for delaying construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for six years.

“After so many years of obstruction we finally get the vote — after six years,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. “The administration has been dragging its feet.”

{mosads}McConnell credited last week’s midterm elections as the reason Democrats are now willing to take a vote on legislation that would force the Obama administration to allow construction of the pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

The Keystone debate is wrapped up in midterm election politics, with both Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and her opponent in the Senate runoff, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), taking the lead on identical legislation in both chambers.

Landrieu was able to secure a unanimous consent agreement to hold a Senate vote on Tuesday; the House will vote on the same bill this week. Landrieu is working to get the 60 votes needed for Senate passage.

The president hasn’t formally issued a veto threat, but administration officials have said their views haven’t changed on the matter. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline because it would prolong the use of fossil fuels instead of advancing alternative energy use.

“What this administration seems to be best at is destroying existing jobs or preventing new jobs from being created because of this obsession with hydrocarbons of any kind,” McConnell said.

McConnell said if Obama does veto the bill, Republicans will send it to his desk again next year. 

Tags Keystone Pipeline Mary Landrieu Mitch McConnell
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