Durbin: Senate short a vote on Keystone pipeline

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WASHINGTON — The Senate is poised to vote on the Keystone pipeline this week, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Sunday the Senate is short a vote to get it passed.

The Senate needs 60 votes to pass the measure, ready to act after the House on Friday approved a Keystone bill on a 252-161 roll call. The House approved the Keystone bill mainly on a party roll call. In the Senate there are enough Senate Democrats around who could potentially add enough yes votes to get to 60.

Durbin, in an interview with Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said Keystone supporters are “within a vote or two; as a whip I’ve done the counts.” Or, put another way, Keystone may not have the 60 votes needed  to pass the Senate. The measure per Senate routine, first has to pass a key procedrual hurdle.

“We were one vote short as we left last week,” Durbin said. “I know they’re burning up the phone lines and emails trying to find that vote to support the procedural move. I don’t know how successful they’ve been.”

The Obama White House has signaled the president will veto the bill. President Barack Obama has put off action for six years, waiting for law suits and State Department studies and his re-election campaign.

“Every indication is, the president will veto an attempt to preempt the regular process of reviewing the permit for this pipeline. I think that it should go through the orderly process. The Republicans believe that the president’s power should be taken away, it should be moved on a fast track. But, remember, the oil that is going to flow through that pipeline is not going to be used in the United States or reduce gas prices in the United States,” Durbin said.

House Vote: Rep. Dan Lipinski was the only Illinois Democrat to vote yes. Read my post on the Lipinski vote HERE.

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