Tuesday, November 18, 2014

McConnell's Veto-Proof Keystone Majority

US Senator Mary Landrieu

US Senator Mary Landrieu is French Toast. She will not survive the December 6th run-off. Her votes and her voice do not match with Pelican State values. Still, at the last minute, she tried to salvage her seat, and pushed through the authorization for the Keystone Pipeline.

Following votes on the US Senate floor, the measure failed by one vote.

All the Republicans supported the measure, and fourteen Democrats crossed over in support:

"In addition to Landrieu, Democrats who backed the pipeline included Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana, John Walsh of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Mitch McConnell
Which Democratic Senators who had voted against Keystone lost reelection in 2014?

Mark Udall of Colorado, who will be replaced by Republican Cory Gardner. He supports Keystone. The conference now has 60 votes.

McConnell will be able to get Keystone passed, but President Obama will likely veto the legislation.

Then the Senate will need 67 votes to override the President's Veto.

Tom Harkin of Iowa voted against Keystone. He will be replaced Joni Ernst: 61 votes.

Tim Johnson of South Dakota voted no. Mike Rounds will vote yes: 62.

Joe Walsh of Montana voted No, but Stephen Daines will vote yes: 63

Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia voted no, but Shelley Moore Capito will agree: 64

Three more senators need to cross over and support the pipeline.

Canadian Maj. William M. Church, left,  and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell January 9, 2010.

Chris Coons
Chris Coons of Delaware may join with his fellow Delawarean Tom Carper with the right amount of pressure. Angus King of Maine could be persuaded to change his mind, and then there's Ron Wyden of Oregon who has joined Republicans to protest the NSA overreach into Americans' private lives. Maybe Bill Nelson in Florida could be persuaded to join with his Republican colleague Marco Rubio.

Bill Nelson

Of course, if the freezing cold hitting New England gets any worse, the Democratic delegation in those states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts) will have to explain to their constituents why they insist on forcing them to endure the cold without access to cheaper heating oil.

There is plenty of time for arm-twisting in the next few months, and soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will find a way to get the votes.

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