Senate panel cancels Keystone hearing after Dem objections

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request MORE (D-Ill.) objected on Tuesday to a Senate hearing on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was canceled after the objection by Durbin on behalf of fellow Democratic senators.


Robert Dillon, spokesman for Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump MORE (R-Alaska), the chairwoman of the energy committee, said the canceled hearing "does not slow down the Keystone XL floor process."

"Sen. Murkowski was committed to moving legislation through regular committee order and having a robust hearing process. Working with the incoming ranking member, we had lined up witnesses from a labor union and the Center for American Progress (CAP) to testify on the Keystone XL," Dillon said.

"Democrats will no longer have an opportunity to hear that testimony or make statements. We think that’s unfortunate. Meanwhile the floor process on Keystone XL advances," he added.

The move by Durbin signals the deep divide between Republicans and the majority of Democrats who oppose the pipeline.

Hours after Sens. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenBottom Line The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms MORE (R-N.D.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer Poll: West Virginia voters would view Manchin negatively if he votes to convict Trump Pelosi set to send impeachment articles to the Senate next week MORE (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation to approve the $8 billion oil sands project, the White House threatened to veto it.

Hoeven said as of Tuesday morning, nine Democrats have thrown their support behind the Keystone bill, including Manchin. Of those nine, six are co-sponsors.

It remains unclear whether the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will still be able to hold its scheduled Thursday markup on the bill.