Senate panel cancels Keystone hearing after Dem objections

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin: Negotiators to miss Friday target for deal on reconciliation bill Democrats look for plan B on filibuster The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats 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 MurkowskiDemocrats look for plan B on filibuster Senate will vote on John Lewis voting bill as soon as next week Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter 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 HoevenHouse passes legislation to strengthen federal cybersecurity workforce The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-N.D.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden: Negotiating assault weapons ban more difficult than infrastructure, reconciliation deal Biden says expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental and vision a 'reach' Biden says paid leave proposal reduced from 12 to 4 weeks 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.