Landrieu pushes for Senate Keystone vote

Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuLobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president Dems grasp for way to stop Trump's Supreme Court pick MORE (D-La.) is pushing for a vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Wednesday, a move Democrats hope could boost her to victory in her December runoff election.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Landrieu said she would request a unanimous consent vote opening the issue up to debate for two hours on Wednesday ahead of a vote on it Thursday.

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“I believe with a push, a significant push in the next few hours that we can actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline,” she said on the Senate floor.

“At the request of the minority I am going to wait for about an hour and then going to propose unanimous consent to do just that. To set up two hours of debate tonight after the vote and then have a vote on the Keystone pipeline tomorrow,” Landrieu added.

It’s a move that could boost Landrieu in her runoff bid against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in Louisiana. If she loses, the GOP majority in the next Congress would grow to 54-46.

Landrieu said she wanted to take the incoming Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), “at his word” and pass legislation approving the $5.4 billion project.

She called on McConnell and current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to “move forward” with her on the pipeline.

Citing the signal sent by American voters by electing a wave of GOP candidates, Landrieu urged her colleagues to prove that the Senate is listening.

"We can have the Keystone pipeline and answer the frustrations of the American people so they can ... say 'oh my gosh, the senators of United States of America have ears, and they have brains, they have hearts and they heard what we said,'" she said.

"It is ready for a vote and we have the 60 votes to pass it," Landrieu said.

Last time Keystone supporters attempted to force a vote on the project earlier this year they had 57 votes, but Landrieu said she is "confident" they have the votes now to pass it.

Pushing back at Landrieu's move, Cassidy announced shortly after her comments on the floor of the Senate that the House planned to vote on a bill he proposed that would approve the pipeline as well.