Senate Democrats are working on plans to hold a vote authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline — approval that Democrats believe might bolster the chances of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who faces a tough runoff election next month.
It was not immediately clear Tuesday night whether Republicans would consent to proceeding with such a vote during the lame-duck session that begins on Wednesday — especially given the high stakes surrounding Landrieu’s reelection race. Such a move would also draw howls from the environmental movement who had hoped that President Obama would resolve a years-long dispute over a long-awaited energy project in their favor.
Several Senate Democratic aides confirmed on Tuesday evening that talks are underway to allow for a vote authorizing construction of the pipeline in the coming days. The aides, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said that details on language of the bill authorizing and its timing were not yet settled, but likely would be among the topics of conversation as Congress reconvenes Wednesday.
Landrieu is expected to make a formal announcement of plans to hold a vote later Tuesday or on Wednesday, the aides said.