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After Obama “Personally Lobbie[s]” Democrats, Senate Dems Vote Down Keystone Pipeline Job

March 9th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

Yesterday, after President Obama “personally lobbied” Senate Democrats, they voted down an amendment from Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) that would have finally authorized the Keystone XL pipeline after repeated delays from the White House.

After Politico reported that “President Barack Obama is intervening in a Senate fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and personally lobbying Democrats to reject an amendment calling for its construction,” Bloomberg News added, “Ahead of a vote . . . the president has made personal appeals to Democrats from Midwestern states, where many of the jobs would be created . . . .” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed President Obama’s lobbying efforts against the Keystone XL pipeline to reporters at his press briefing yesterday.

The Wall Street Journal wrote last night, “Every Republican who voted supported the proposal, and 11 Democrats joined them, despite last-minute lobbying from President Barack Obama, called senators personally to persuade them it was ‘irresponsible.’ . . . Republican lawmakers and the Business Roundtable were quick to denounce the rejection of the measure. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s Republican leader, pinned the blame on Mr. Obama.”

Clearly, the president’s lobbying of Democrats to vote against creating jobs and securing American energy worked, since the amendment fell just short of the 60 votes needed for approval. Politico notes, “Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) wryly congratulated Obama on his lobbying efforts. ‘That was very strong work by President Obama himself, making personal calls to Democrats,’ Lugar said. ‘He understood that a majority of the American public and a majority at least of the Senate are strongly in favor of this project.’”

It’s amazing that the President continues to oppose a project that even labor unions argue would create tens of thousands of American jobs. And at a time of serious concerns about the Middle East, Keystone XL would enhance American energy security by allowing better access to domestic oil and bringing more oil from our friends and allies in Canada.

Politico explains the upshot of the vote yesterday: “Thursday’s squeaker of a Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline serves both as a warning to President Barack Obama that a majority of both houses of Congress supports the pipeline and as encouragement to Republicans to keep pushing the issue. Obama had personally lobbied Senate Democrats with phone calls urging them to oppose an amendment to the highway bill that would fast-track the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline. And as it turned out, he needed every bit of their help. In all, 11 Democrats joined 45 Republicans to support the pipeline. Only the fact that 60 votes were needed for passage saved the White House from an embarrassing defeat.”

Related:

Politicmo: McCaskill bucks White House on Keystone

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