Keystone one vote from 60 in Senate

Keystone one vote from 60 in Senate
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Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuDems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president 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 BennetCourt-packing becomes new litmus test on left New England Patriots player says he will remain in locker room during anthem next season Press: Which way do Dems go in 2020? 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 CarperBiden's challenge: Satisfying the left Dems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Lobbying world 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 NelsonEx-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight 2020 party politics in Puerto Rico MORE (D-Fla.), who was courted by Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenDem lawmaker 'confident' bipartisan group will strike deal on border funding Congress in painful start to avoid second shutdown Republicans want Trump to keep out of border talks 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 CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate Dem calls on Trump to apologize for attacks on McCain Sixteen years later, let's finally heed the call of the 9/11 Commission  Senate Dems introduce bill demanding report on Khashoggi killing 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 Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget Shanahan grilled on Pentagon's border wall funding Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax 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.