Keystone one vote from 60 in Senate

Keystone one vote from 60 in Senate
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Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta Landrieu11 former Democratic senators call for 'meaningful reform to Senate rules' 10 Democrats who could run in 2024 if Biden doesn't Cassidy wins reelection in Louisiana MORE (D-La.) and her allies are one vote away from securing a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes for the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the Senate.

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs MORE (D-Colo.) is expected to vote in favor of the oil sands project, Landrieu said Friday on a call with reporters.

“He feels very strongly about it,” she said.

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The support of Bennet puts the vote count Keystone at 59, ahead of a critical vote in the Senate next week.

Asked whether she has the 60 votes needed to move forward, Landrieu predicted she would get there.

"I am going to say I'm confident I'll have the 60 votes."

The House on Friday passed an identical version of the bill to approve Keystone, which was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

Cassidy and Landrieu are battling it out in a Louisiana Senate runoff scheduled for Dec. 6, pushing Keystone to the forefront of the agenda in Congress.

Landrieu has corralled 14 Democrats for the Senate Keystone bill, the latest being Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperNearly 200 Democrats back EPA in Supreme Court emissions case Bottom line Biden comments add momentum to spending bill's climate measures  MORE (Del.) and Bennet.

Other Democrats who were seen as possible "yes" votes on the pipeline have declined to join the push.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonJames Webb telescope reaches final destination a million miles from Earth Overnight Energy & Environment — Earth records its hottest years ever Global temperatures in past seven years hottest ever observed, new data show MORE (D-Fla.), who was courted by Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Senate Republicans call on Biden to lift vaccine mandate for truckers crossing Canadian border Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Native solar startups see business as activism MORE (R-N.D.) and Landrieu, will vote “no” on the Keystone bill, his spokesman said Friday.

Nelson supports the pipeline but only with a ban on exporting the oil it transports.

Similarly, Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration Russia announces military exercises amid standoff with US, NATO over Ukraine Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time MORE (D-Del.) said he would against approving the project, which would ship Canadian crude oil from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.

A possible fence-sitter, Sen. Angus KingAngus KingThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE (I-Maine), is “leaning no,” according to his spokesman, giving some hope to Keystone supporters that he might change his mind.

Landrieu’s move to push a vote on the pipeline within minutes of Congress returning for the lame-duck session was unexpected, and seen as a move to boost her chances in the runoff against Cassidy.

Landrieu said she “didn’t ask for permission” when going to the floor Wednesday evening to request unanimous consent on a vote to pass a bill that approves construction of the pipeline.

“I didn’t tell Democratic leadership what I was going to do,” she said.

The move has been called a “hail-mary pass” by some Republicans, though they are not objecting to the vote.

Republicans have long pushed for approving Keystone, arguing President Obama is stalling on a project that would create jobs and boost the energy sector.

The House passed Cassidy’s bill, which adopted the language from Hoeven and Landrieu’s bill, on Friday in a 252-161 vote.

If the Senate passes that Keystone bill on Tuesday, it would head to President Obama’s desk for a possible veto.

Obama said lawmakers shouldn’t “short circuit” the current process at the State Department for reviewing the project.

“I’ve been clear in the past … and my position hasn’t changed, that this is a process that is supposed to be followed,”  he said in Burma.

— This story was updated at 2:37 p.m.