Despite a huge push by Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat, the Senate by a single vote defeated a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday evening, 59-41. All of the Senate Republicans and fourteen Democrats, including Sen. Mark Begich, voted to approve measure. Incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to again take up the legislation when the new Senate is sworn in, when it’s expected to easily have enough votes to pass. However, President Obama has threatened a veto.
In a statement, Sen. Lisa Murkowski seemed to blame its failure not on Democratic senators who voted against the bill, but on Obama. “The president’s foot-dragging has only deprived Americans of badly needed jobs, a stable source of energy from a close ally, and our usual reputation for a fair system in which project developers can have confidence that federal regulators are acting in good faith,” Murkowski said.
She also said that Keystone’s passage will be a top priority for her and the new majority.