Posted: 9:21 pm Monday, January 26th, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
In their first successful filibuster of 2015, Democrats in the Senate on Monday evening delayed the march to final action on a bipartisan plan to force the start of construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, demanding more debate and more votes on proposed changes to the measure.
Four Democrats voted with Republicans to bring an end to debate, but several others withheld their votes, supporting opponents of the pipeline who charged their amendments were being shut out by the GOP.
“There are many of my colleagues that had amendments they wanted to offer,” complained Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).
Anyone who looks at the facts and does the math should oppose this bill and oppose construction of the #KeystoneXL pipeline.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 26, 2015
Democrats were angered by what happened last Thursday, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was trying to push debate along, as the GOP stopped several Democrats from talking about their amendments.
“The majority did not even make it possible for me to speak for one minute,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), one of the staunchest opponents of the pipeline.
McConnell: It's time to bring the #Keystone debate to a positive conclusion & we’ll do that soon. The debate has been good for our country.
— Sen. McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) January 26, 2015
McConnell now will likely have to allow for further amendments, which could delay final votes on the pipeline into next week.
The debate on the Keystone bill began January 9, a reminder of how long it can take to get the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body to act on anything remotely controversial.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.