All senators in town for Keystone vote

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All senators are in town Tuesday to cast their votes on a measure approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Later Tuesday, the Senate will vote on approval of the controversial energy project which would transport oil from Canada through the United States to Gulf Coast refineries. Environmentalists oppose the project, but labor groups have touted it as a job creator, leaving Democrats in a difficult spot.

{mosads}Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) weren’t in Washington in time to cast procedural votes on judicial nominations late on Monday evening. But all four are back for the Keystone vote.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) spearheaded the effort to hold the vote and has been trying to whip the 60 votes needed to pass the legislation, which some believe would help her chances in a Senate runoff race against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Cassidy sponsored a similar measure in the House, and both candidates have touted their energy credentials in their race.

Coburn, who has been ill, and Hagan are key to Landrieu’s success, as they are two of the confirmed 59 yes votes. Both senators’ offices said they are in town and will support the measure.

Boxer and Sanders strongly oppose the pipeline and will vote no.

“What does XL stand for? To me it stands for extra lethal,” Boxer said Tuesday. “This is a serious environmental hazard.”

Tags Barbara Boxer Bernie Sanders Environmental risks of the Keystone XL pipeline Kay Hagan Keystone Pipeline Mary Landrieu Mary Landrieu Tom Coburn

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