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Senate panel cancels Keystone hearing after Dem objections

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Progressive group: Feinstein must step down as top Democrat on Judiciary panel 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.

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Robert Dillon, spokesman for Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court This week: Clock ticks on chance for coronavirus deal Climate change — Trump's golden opportunity 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 HoevenDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Bottom line Bipartisan senators seek funding for pork producers forced to euthanize livestock MORE (R-N.D.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears Tom Cotton: 'No doubt' coronavirus won't stop confirmation of SCOTUS nominee 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.